Lala Bought by Apple: Please Let This Be Good
According to MacDailyNews:
“Apple Inc. acquired online music company Lala Media Inc., possibly signaling an expansion of the computer giant’s music strategy,” Ethan Smith and Yukari Iwatani Kane report for The Wall Street Journal.
Terms of the deal were not available, but there’s this:
“One person with knowledge of the deal, but who was not authorized to discuss it, said that the negotiations originated when Lala executives concluded that their prospects for turning a profit in the short term were dim and initiated discussions with Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president in charge of iTunes,” Brad Stone reports for the New York Times. “This person said Apple would primarily be buying Lala’s engineers, including its energetic co-founder Bill Nguyen, and their experience with cloud-based music services.“
This Could Be Good If
1) Apple uses it to start their own cloud-based music streaming service complete with iPhone app and allows Lala.com users (like me) to transfer all their purchases to the new service. This scenario seems most likely if Apple is indeed basically just buying Lala’s engineers. Of course, the “be good” part of this hinges on Apple letting people move their purchases to the new service. Of course, people who don’t already use Lala won’t give a shit, and Apply might not care enough about the current users of Lala (who are probably a tiny minority of music listeners) to make this sort of transfer available.
2) Apple starts adding their branding muscle to Lala.com, and adds integration with Lala to iTunes. I mean, the service is already set up and seems to be working pretty well. The music syncing app could use some work, but that seems like something that Apply could do pretty well. Then they could add their Genius power to Lala to make it even awesomer (and get people to buy even more music, since the web songs are only 10 cents).
3) Apple does anything as good as Lala without Effing it up. I’m sure there are other possible roadmaps that my feeble mind has yet to conjure into being. As long as Apple doesn’t rip the still beating heart from Lala and stomp on it (as Google has done with Oh So Many Startups), then, it should be okay.