‘Tis a sad day for music streamers to find out that the popular music streaming site Lala.com will cease to exist come May 31, 2010. The innocent step child of Apple, if you’re unaware, was a heavy competitor to it’s step-brother: iTunes. Lala offered a service that allowed you to “rent” instead of “purchase” music for a fraction of iTunes’ $0.99.
So what exactly does this mean for music streaming? Did Steve Jobs kill it by lethal injection to the source? Highly doubtful! There are still strong-willed followers of this idea that will keep this type of resource up and running. There is speculation that Steve Jobs (and Apple) acquired Lala just to try ridding itself of the “rental” competition. Others believe they acquired it to use it and just lost faith in the investment.
There is great anticipation to see where Apple goes from here. Did they take the service and strip it for what it’s worth just to learn the in’s and out’s of how it operates? Some (at Cohesionarts) believe that once we see OS4 drop later this year, we might see a style of subscription service like this for Apple and iTunes. I, however, am having a love/hate agreement with that speculation. Where at one point, it’d be good to have and spend less on the iTunes store, I’d end up spending more just to re-rent the songs over and over. I think Apple has the better service than that of Zune that let’s you download as many songs as you want for a monthly price. However, once your month or service is terminated, you lose those songs.
If however, this “cloud-based” version (web-based) of iTunes does arise from this recent termination, how would you react? Would you go about your music purchasing differently? Would you still shell out the $0.99 for that hot new track? Or would you “rent” the songs before buying?