Apple has agreed to buy a four-year-old streaming music provider, Lala, of Palo Alto, CA, reports The NY Times. Lala allows users to store their digital music purchases on its servers and then stream the songs via the internet from any computer or handheld device.
The Times said Apple is branching out from its music distribution model of requiring customers to download digital copies of songs onto computers and then “syncing” them into mobile devices such as iPods or iPhones.
Citing someone “with knowledge of the deal,” the Times said Lala execs approached Apple after deciding their prospects for turning a profit in the short term were not good.
Google recently partnered with LaLa to give music fans an easier way to find, sample and buy songs on the Internet. Google provides users who want to sample a song with a pop-up box that will play at least a 30-second segment — in some cases the entire song — provided by Lala, which will then offer links to purchase the music.