updated 10:40 am EST, Mon December 7, 2009
Could allow streaming iTunes content anywhere
Apple's acquisition of Lala has broad implications, claims UBS analyst Maynard Um. The service lets users link offline music with an online library of over 8 million tracks, enabling streaming from any computer with web access. Users can also browse friends' collections, receive updates on them, and create or listen to playlists. In some ways the service is said to be similar to the Genius technology employed by iTunes.
The most likely implication of Lala's sale is that Apple will allow streaming iTunes music online, whether through the web or some other Apple browser. The technology is more importantly expected to foreshadow a broader portability, in which people can access diverse content on any Apple hardware. Support could extend beyond iTunes media to include the likes of user-generated content from MobileMe, claims Um.
The platform would further Apple's current business strategy, which involves using a halo effect to lure people into buying more products. An iPhone buyer, for instance, may subsequently buy a Mac, and apps, music and video from the iTunes Store.