Apple recently announced that they’ll be shuttering the doors of Lala, the music service they acquired back in December. This has prompted a lot of speculation over Apple’s motivations, up to and including the notion that Apple wants to take a competitor out of the market.
As always, the absence of short term clarity leads many to speculate on all sorts of nefarious things but I think that’s all wrong. As interesting as Lala was, there’s no evidence that it was a breakout service. Rather, if you look at world that’s moving more and more to the cloud for services and features, Lala technology makes a very good fit for a way that Apple can evolve iTunes from a store to purchase the digital single to something much more.
As phones and other connected devices become the defacto way to listen and consume content, new business model will need to evolve. The whole concept of “owning” music changes if I can listen to any song on any connected device that I own, there’s a different way to pay and monetize. Subscription services like Rhapsody are already adjusting their technology platforms and business models to reflect this. I’d expect no less from Apple as iTunes becomes more reflective of the connected world that we live in.