Silicon Valley News

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Editor's Choice: Lala building iTunes friendly music service

Silicon Valley startup Lala is building the next generation in digital music. Last year, Lala unveiled a service that provides web access to an existing music library such as iTunes. Lala is trying to move beyond the approach of uploading MP3 files from a PC. The Palo Alto-based firm gives users the option of paying 99 cents to download one song, or paying 10 cents for a Web-hosted song that they can access from any internet-connected device. The service allows you to sample any song in the their catalog once for free, and keep up to 50 songs in their online collection.

"Music belongs online," say CEO Geoff Ralston. Before taking the helm at Lala, Ralston helped to create RocketMail, the predecessor to Yahoo! Mail.

Lala was launched in 2007. It initially started as a CD-swapping service. They later morphed into internet radio. Last year, however, they finally found their niche. All four major music labels and many independents are now onboard. Unlike other similar music services, Lala does not have a subscription fee, and it is free of advertising. The downloads are also DRM-free.

Lala and a host of streaming music sites with free content are being used by a growing number of listeners as a substitute for buying music, reports BusinessWeek. Read more