WSJ: Apple's $85M purchase of Lala paves way for iTunes cloud

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple's purchase of music streaming service Lala signals a fundamental change in the way that the company will present iTunes content on the web.



Apple is poised to totally change its iTunes business model with a increased focus on Internet-based content, reports the Wall Street Journal in an article appearing in Thursday's edition. Using newly acquired La La Media Inc. as a springboard, Apple is considering to adopt a usage model that would allow consumers to access and manage their iTunes purchases directly through the Internet without downloading the content in question or the iTunes software.



In its current form, iTunes requires users to download and manage their iTunes purchases on a per-computer basis. With a new focus on Internet-based management, an iTunes user could log into their account and access and stream all their music from any computer with an Internet connection. This technology could also allow Apple to sell music on other websites or even in web-based search results.



Apple has already made some small strides into web-based iTunes functionality with the release of iTunes Preview in November. With iTunes Preview, users can share music links via iTunes without the need to launch Apple's media suite. Previously, users without iTunes were prompted to install the software in order to view content.



The Wall Street Journal's figure of $85 million for Lala's purchase price is in the same ballpark of what Peter Kafka at AllThingsDigital reported Monday. The report also confirms what Maynard Um predicted about Apple's reasons for aquiring Lala earlier this week.



Lala execs have already assumed important roles in shaping Apple's iTunes strategy going forward. "It's our understanding that the Lala guys are going to be in very significant roles," someone familiar with Apple's plans reportedly said.



Apple's $1 billion server farm project planned for North Carolina may actually be tied to this web-based strategy, and could provide the backbone for a web-based iTunes.



According to the Journal, Apple could begin to make these changes as early as next year.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    Obviously, Apple bought LaLa as part of an iTunes development strategy.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    Hmm, that's what the new server farm is for.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    29922992 Posts: 202member
    Looking forward to start spending more money buying stuff from iTunes..
  • Reply 4 of 34
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Obviously, Apple bought LaLa as part of an iTunes development strategy.



    Probably. There's a small chance they just bought them to kill a competitor, or to prevent someone else from getting them.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    This eliminates the storage capacity issue for Apple's flash-based handheld devices including the new tablet.



    Only 16/32GB of local storage? No problem. Just stream whatever you want from the server farm.
  • Reply 6 of 34
    Hmmm...with all this streaming of content will we see an ultra thin 4 th gen iPhone. iPhone Air anyone?
  • Reply 7 of 34
    Could this allow people to manage their iPhone/iPod touch/iPad content without absolutely having to own or access a computer also?



    Could that broaden out Apple's addressed market?
  • Reply 8 of 34
    Apple will not "fundamentally change" the iTunes model. People like to buy stuff and OWN it. Having it sitting in a cloud is something for techies, but not the Everyday-Coldplay-Purchaser. I'd see such a "cloud-iTunes" as an extra feature, but not such a drastic change for EVERY iTunes user.



    btw.... I still have funny pictures in my head when reading "lala execs" or "lala guys"



    ;-)
  • Reply 9 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bluenix View Post


    Apple will not "fundamentally change" the iTunes model. People like to buy stuff and OWN it. Having it sitting in a cloud is something for techies, but not the Everyday-Coldplay-Purchaser. I'd see such a "cloud-iTunes" as an extra feature, but not such a drastic change for EVERY iTunes user.



    btw.... I still have funny pictures in my head when reading "lala execs" or "lala guys"



    ;-)



    That sounds about right. My guess is that Apple will allow people to fully stream songs that they already bought, instead of only allowing a 30 second preview. Additionally they might release some new site where people can access their "virtual library" which contains the same media as on their computers, but can be accessed from anywhere. How exciting is that?
  • Reply 10 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bluenix View Post


    Apple will not "fundamentally change" the iTunes model. People like to buy stuff and OWN it. Having it sitting in a cloud is something for techies, but not the Everyday-Coldplay-Purchaser.



    Thats nonsense, it's a simple culture shift, infact the cloud way of listening to music simplifies things for your average drone to comprehend.
  • Reply 11 of 34
    Apple would never move to a completely cloud-based system, simply because you can't count on an always-on connection...like on a plane, on a boat, when out hiking, when overseas, etc.



    Plus, AT&T is already having data connectivity issues; they wouldn't want to go exclusively to that for music streaming. (Even if Apple switches to another carrier, they still wouldn't want all users to be streaming all music.)



    I have the LaLa iPhone app and it works well for the most part, although it dropped out several times when driving thru Louisiana and Mississippi recently. I wouldn't want to rely on it for all my music needs.



    Finally, the streamed music is compressed more than the already-compressed source file, and there's a definite fidelity loss. This will not impress audiophiles, some of whom want a nearly uncompressed audio file on their iPods.
  • Reply 12 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ensign Pulver View Post


    This eliminates the storage capacity issue for Apple's flash-based handheld devices including the new tablet.



    Only 16/32GB of local storage? No problem. Just stream whatever you want from the server farm.



    I don't think this is a streaming music play at all, that's just conjecture on the part of the writers. I think they're buying LaLa in order to move the iTunes Store out of the iTunes application, and offer a platform-independant web-based front end. Suddenly Linux becomes a useful platform for media, which I think plays to Apple's advantage.



    The model could remain completely identical to the current system - you buy/rent content in your account - but the technology for delivering it changes. That technology change would allow iTunes Store to be used by anyone, anywhere.



    Seems like a good idea to me. The iPod already has the market locked up so there's no need for hardware tie-ins any more. The halo effect clearly shows that people understand that Apple is a premium product, so although they can get content on some other box, the customer will also understand that the best box comes from Apple. I see no downside for their sales.



    Maury
  • Reply 13 of 34
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Obviously, Apple bought LaLa as part of an  iTunes development strategy.



    yes



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by estolinski View Post


    Hmm, that's what the new server  farm is for.



    bingo



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2992 View Post


    Looking forward to start spending more money buying stuff from  iTunes..



    careful top of the line 32" 1080p are now under $400

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post


    Hmmm...with all this streaming of content will we see an ultra thin 4 th gen iPhone. iPhone Air anyone?



    yesyesyes !!! a  nano phone AIR wristwatch streaming video phone type cloud based tele phone deal is now possible ..

    OR will be

    one day

     DICK TRACEY walk this earth once again

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    Thats nonsense, it's a simple culture shift, infact the cloud way of listening to music simplifies things for your average drone to comprehend.



    EXCUSE ME SIR



    but no



    these moves add to an ever growing  APPLE WORLD TAKE OVER .





    THE SERVER FARMS <<2 are built on each site >>and  apple will built at least 7 more secret ultra green farms over the next 8 yrs /. in 3 continents .

     ITUNES STREAMING CLOUD is the game changer



    dear mr monster dude before >>> when switching itunes content that we bought or owned already from mac's or devices we own >>> we lose songs or we lose the right to play songs or media is tied to different emails addresses or different itunes accounts even thou all of it is owned by YOU .

    fing hassle dude





    so  apple will now store your whole library under one name in one place in one deep space 9 based CLOUD



    AND mr scary dude thats just one of dozens of things the FARMS s and streaming LALA'S will offer .

    APPLE WILL not ever be tied down to any one carrier again .











    9





    just talking
  • Reply 14 of 34
    I'd seen one article saying that Apple only paid $17 million for Lala. Anyway, I would think that Apple will use Lala's technology or expertise to help them do streaming from their future data center. Give individuals a certain amount of free storage so they can stream their own music or video to their mobile devices. I sure hope Apple comes up with some idea to keep selling their hardware now that overall iPod sales are slowing. \
  • Reply 15 of 34
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,307member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by estolinski View Post


    Hmm, that's what the new server farm is for.



    That and movies, games and maybe even apps and associated data too perhaps?
  • Reply 16 of 34
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,307member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bluenix View Post




    btw.... I still have funny pictures in my head when reading "lala execs" or "lala guys"



    ;-)



    ... and I assume they all live in Lala Land ROFL
  • Reply 17 of 34
    technotechno Posts: 728member
    deleted
  • Reply 18 of 34
    I think a "refresh" of Apple's iTunes being more web friendly would be a nice addition. Having the ability to stream from any portable or desktop device would likely be a nice additional feature.
  • Reply 19 of 34
    technotechno Posts: 728member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bluenix View Post


    Apple will not "fundamentally change" the iTunes model. People like to buy stuff and OWN it. Having it sitting in a cloud is something for techies, but not the Everyday-Coldplay-Purchaser. I'd see such a "cloud-iTunes" as an extra feature, but not such a drastic change for EVERY iTunes user.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    Thats nonsense, it's a simple culture shift, infact the cloud way of listening to music simplifies things for your average drone to comprehend.





    You guys might both be right but in reverse. The average person may like the cloud as their only method of listening to their music. Where as others (technies?) may prefer to have their music on the their computer and use the cloud as an extra feature.
  • Reply 20 of 34
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,747member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by estolinski View Post


    Hmm, that's what the new server farm is for.



    And them some. My prediction is that Apple is aiming for the ability to run/serve/manage all aspects of iPhone owners' lives through Mobile Me. That means communication, music, credit card purchases, medical records, personal documents, library access, work, school, etc. Literally, your life on an iPhone.



    Yes, some of these the iPhone can already do through dedicated apps or Safari, but that's still too cumbersome and Apple is all about streamlining, and simplifying the whole process so that for most people (i.e. non-techies) iPhone becomes the easy, obvious choice.



    The human-device interface is where Apple outclasses everyone. Everyone. And by lightyears. Android, and WebOS, and WinMo 7, and everyone else won't even know what hit them when iCloud is fully deployed. No one will have Apple's ease of use and no one will have an ecosystem that is as vast and comprehensive.



    Hang on to your AAPL. You're going to be scaling Mt. Everest with it.
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