Cupertino, 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.
Founded 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 playlists.
http://snipurl.com/vwf2r (DMW previous coverage)