Lala music service to be shut down by Apple May 31

Customers of cloud-streaming music site Lala got an email today informing them that the service, which was purchased by Apple back in December, will be discontinued as of May 31. The email went on to inform subscribers that they would receive a credit to the iTunes store for the amount of their ten-cent Lala streaming-song purchases and/or remaining balance, or refunds upon request. (All downloaded songs will continue to play in their owners’ music libraries.)

It was widely anticipated at the time of Apple’s purchase that they intended to absorb the Lala technology — which houses users’ music libraries in a “cloud” (remote server), rather than on any one device — and there is wide speculation that Apple now intends to launch a cloud-based version of iTunes.

What do you think of this turn of events, Mixers? We’ll bring you more news as it happens, but in the meantime, any happy/irate Lala/Apple users out there? Support groups forming now.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (15 total) Add your comment
  • Chip H

    “… and there is wide speculation that Apple now intends to launch a cloud-based version of iTunes.”

    Except that Steve Jobs has many times ranted that these sorts of services are not what consumers want (in spite of the fact that the clearly do want them). If it comes to pass, I’ll be pleased, but I’ll not be holding my breath. Far more likely that Apple just wanted to kill competitor innovation while they could.

    • James

      Yep. My thoughts exactly (at least the last sentence).

      • B

        Exactly. This sounds like they just wanted to monopolize the market, and a “freer” setup that cost less was getting in the way. Even if iTunes creates a “cloud” server, it’s a good bet they’ll charge more than 10 cents per song.

      • Patrick

        @B I think the word you are looking for is cheaper…a cheaper setup

  • Sara

    I love Lala. Listen to it at work all the time.

  • amj

    I might actually finally buy itunes if they did have cloud computing. Right now I never invest in itunes.

  • Jeff Bone

    Latest indication that Apple is the new Microsoft. Steve Jobs is awful.

  • Kate

    I would find this annoying as through some bug in the lala system, i currently listen to it completely free instead of having to “add” each song to my collection. I thought this might be due to my having an Apple computer, so I guess I can say goodbye to that and go back to youtube for hearing a full song for free.

  • John

    Why create a new product to compete with another company when you can buy them then put them out of business? Is Apple really going to let us have songs for 10 cents? And let us listen to the whole song before we buy it when they haven’t done it yet? I hope they prove me wrong.

  • hr

    just one more reason i hate apple…

  • Jenny

    Apple is just looking for complete control of online music buying. That’s not okay with me. iTunes is not a perfect set-up and, in fact, it can be extremely frustrating at times. Now that this competition is gone, how much more are they going to charge for a song?

  • Dinjab

    Actually, I still miss the OLD lala, which existed to exchange used CDs with other people. I realize that wasn’t a very profitable business model, but I miss that service.

  • BillM

    I am aware of no other site that lets you listen to any song or album in a massive collection, once, for free, to try it out. This was truly unique, and Apple killed it. There’s a new group on Facebook where people are venting and sharing: Former Members.

  • beach bum

    EMI, Day the Music Died-MD45, American Pie this stinks, unless something identical comes along – this was a remember when (moment in time) when you could access any music, any time you wanted, in your own home, w comfy clothes, sipping your fav brew. Something I only dreamed & imagined about. I listened to all kinds of amazing music, ragtime, new groups, something I may never do again. It was in sync w utube to cross ref a song to see a video. The wealth of info of artists bio’s. It is out there & now it will sit on some rich guy’s shelf – It was :) heaven Like these comments: Apple will Never understand what was built here. Oh they’ll roll out something “similar” It’ll have a lot of bangs & whistles, overpriced. But it’ll never have the Warmth, the Fun, or the Soul of Lala. This was a community And now Destroyed Hey Lala, Congrats, I would have sold to Apple too. Enjoy the money. Working sucks. Best of Luck. I would add PS Enjoy St Barts island. I will be hear when they shut out the notes RIP Lala ~ Now I have to cram listen to this fabulous music.

  • Q,H,

    Lala never stood a chance. Their business model and methods were liked by a lot of us because they cost us next to nothing, or nothing. I never bought from there, I’d go on there and just listen to songs that I wanted to listen to since you could do so one time in full for free. And that’s what I did, I just never repeated a song. I know darn well I’m not the only one who never was going to spend any money on Lala.

    Of course, the fact that Apple spends $80M on Lala and then kills it four months later doesn’t show me that Apple is very bright either. They should have either just let Lala go under themselves, or buy them when they were ABOUT to go under for a super cheap price.

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