Calif. – Apple (NASD: AAPL) announced on
Friday that it will shutter the Lala streaming music service that it acquired
five months ago on May 31, leading to speculation the company may use Lala’s
technology to launch its own streaming service on iTunes. The company has
stopped accepting new account registrations, and the company told users that,
"in appreciation of your support, you will receive a credit in the amount
of your Lala web song purchases for use on Apple’s iTunes Store."
While Apple or Lala did not provide a reason for the closure, many are speculating it is tied to the impending launch of a subscription or cloud-based music streaming service from Apple.
in 2006, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Lala offers free streaming music and sells
access to tracks for 10 cents each, also allowing users to upload their own
music libraries to Lala’s servers.
Wired.com notes that the refund terms offered by Apple mean that
Lala devotees will receive only one-tenth the amount of music on iTunes that
their money paid for on Lala.
It’s unclear what music-focused websites that
utilized Lala’s embedded song streams will do in the wake of the shutdown.
Pitchforkmedia.com, for instance, exclusively used Lala to provide readers with
streaming music alongside its album and track reviews, and for various
(DMW previous coverage)