Rumor of Apple buying Sony spark Japan share chaos
Sony's share value surged by as much as three percent in Japan on Tuesday after a rumor that Apple was considering it a buyout target. The rush was triggered by speculation by Barrons that the company's $51 billion in cash might be used to buy a major company, with Sony as just one of the targets. Original author Eric Savitz has since said it was "pure speculation" and was likely taken too seriously by Japanese investors.
Spotify US launch may be held up by Apple
Apple may be raising doubts among music labels that are keeping Spotify from a US launch, insiders alleged on Thursday. Senior officials from Apple reportedly told record studios in Los Angeles that they had "serious doubts" Spotify's model, which is led by ad-supported free service and $10 monthly subscriptions, could be profitable. The unnamed CNET sources also noted that Apple thought the service could take away from per song sales at not just its own iTunes store but others as well.
Apple may have modest online music post-Lala
Apple's cloud-based iTunes services aren't likely to be as ambitious if launched this year and are switching to video, sources said late Monday. Major labels have been told that a 2010 plan would be "modest in scope" and wouldn't include storing music directly on Apple's servers. Previous rumors had hinted at more conventional streaming that would either use Apple's own copies of content or stream content from the user's own computer to an iPhone or similar device.
MySpace may have unlimited music after poor sales
Industry contacts said on Wednesday that MySpace Music could turn to a subscription model. Backing an earlier story, the rumor asserts that the social network's executives have talked to labels about an unlimited service. Progress isn't known by CNET or others, but the new approach could be ready by the end of the year.
Remote iTunes sharing may not have deals yet
Apple's remote iTunes streaming may indeed be in development but is waiting on music licensing deals, tips revealed on Friday. It has talked with the top four labels but supposedly doesn't have the deals it would need. The iPad producer could already stream from a user's iTunes collection through the Internet without a license, CNET understands, but it would need to do more to stream directly from its own servers.
Describes Lala as 'really interesting technology'
The CEO of Warner Music, Edgar Bronfman Jr., has refused to confirm or deny Apple interests in a streaming music service. Speaking during a Wednesday financial call, the executive dodged any direct answers about Apple plans. "Apple is not currently a retailer involved in an access or subscription model," he commented. "I'd probably like not to speculate on what Apple’s plans are -- it's really interesting technology that it acquired in the Lala acquisition. That's a question that Apple management should answer."
iTunes may get web version but not locker
Apple is reading a web version of iTunes but isn't close enough to switch it on after it shuts down Lala next month, leaks from the music industry hinted today. The company is now believed to be in talks with labels but that the progress is "preliminary at best." Such timing makes it unlikely to go live in time for WWDC on June 7th.
Apple takeover puts Lala out of business
Streaming audio service Lala today said it would shut down on May 31st. The closure follows five months after the buyout by Apple late last year and will see Lala stop taking new users, or paying for web-only songs, effective immediately. Customers can still buy MP3 copies of songs outright and will get iTunes Store credit if their account has a positive balance.
Streaming iTunes won't come with iPad
Apple's rumored streaming iTunes locker won't be ready until the summer at the earliest, music business contacts claimed on Wednesday. A service for storing a user's music online had once been pegged for the spring but now reportedly has been pushed back until at least a season later. What created the setback wasn't mentioned to CNET in the apparent leak.
Google may buy Catch to have iTunes cloud rival
Google may be embarking on a company buyout to counter Apple's buyout of Lala, a rumor argues today. The search firm is believed to be considering a buyout of Catch Media, a startup focused on routing e-books and media across multiple devices and services. It has deals with all four major music labels that would let users keep access.
Jobs says iPhone will beat Android
More details have emerged from the post-iPad Apple town hall meeting hosted by Steve Jobs. In addition to setting up Android as a main rival, Jobs promised "aggressive updates" to the iPhone that would beat Android. He also teased that the next iPhone would be an "A+" update.
Lala help to have quick turnaround
The rumored iTunes library streaming feature that would come as a result of the Lala buyout is likely to be a free extra, a handful of sources at music labels said Wednesday night. They reiterate that Apple has proposed offering online storage for users' collections but add that it would simply be a bonus feature for iTunes customers to help drive iTunes sales. Regular per-track purchases wouldn't be touched.
Lala deal for online access not subs
Apple's buyout of Lala revolves around an online locker for a user's music, MP3tunes head Michael Robertson says. A "variety" of internal sources tell him that iTunes will roll the online access into a software update that will make a note of the user's music and video collections, updating in the background to mirror this online. Once done, listeners will have access to their collections either through a web browser or through an Apple handheld like the iPhone, iPod or rumored tablet.
Apple quietly picks up M and A staff
Apple is now much more committed to dedicated acquisitions thanks to a crucial hiring last year, a source claims tonight. The Mac maker is reported as having hired Goldman Sachs banker Adrian Perica as its first true mergers and acquisitions (M&A) employee to help find and negotiate buyouts of other companies. His influence is said by BusinessWeek to be directly responsible for a quick acquisition of Lala that took just weeks to complete rather than months.
Return helps compensate for earlier investment
Warner Music was paid $9 million under the terms of the Apple buyout of Lala, SEC documents reveal. Lala specializes in streaming music over the web, and before the Apple deal received some $35 million in funding, including $20 million from Warner. The record label wrote down $11 million of its investment in 2009.
Lala move meant for play anywhere access
Apple's buyout of Lala is part of a potential strategy for granting access to iTunes directly through the web, sources said Wednesday night (subscription required). The deal, now said by the WSJ to be valued at $85 million, was originally thought to be a pure acquisition of talent but is now being used to reduce the dependency on the iTunes jukebox software for content and could permit listening to and managing purchases from a web browser. Apple could not only reach those who don't have access to their home collections but could put iTunes directly into search engine results, social networks and other areas.
MySpace steps up streaming music wars
MySpace has quietly completed a buyout of music streaming service iMeem. Following a tentative deal two months ago, the large social network has reportedly bought up iMeem's assets for under $1 million. It's understood by TechCrunch that iMeem will be shut down and its users steered towards MySpace Music, which offers both free web streams and pay-per-download MP3s.
Company worth only a fraction of previous claim?
The true price paid for Apple's purchase of Lala continues to be in dispute, a new report suggests. Sources reached by AllThingsDigital recently put the value at $80 million, conflicting with early indications that Lala was acquired at a "fire-sale" cost. TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, however, cites "sources with indirect knowledge of the deal" as claiming a value of just $17 million, a far cry from the $180 million or more the company was thought to be worth in 2008.
Counters earlier 'fire-sale' rumors
Apple's Lala buyout was worth approximately $80 million, say sources contacted by AllThingsDigital. The value is less than half what the Lala was estimated to be worth in 2008, but considerably more than the company's $35 million raised to date. Apple has refused to comment, and investors Ignition Capital, Bain Capital Ventures and the Warner Music Group have not made any statements.
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.
Apple would get Lala engineers in bargain
(Update with Apple confirmation) Apple has already cemented its deal to buy Lala, multiple sources said Friday evening. One tip claimed the web-based audio startup not only agreed to a deal quickly but voluntarily offered itself to Apple through iTunes VP Eddy Cue due to short-term doubts about Lala's profitability. Apple itself purportedly sees Lala as a resource grab and is concerned more with getting engineers experienced in streaming music than for the actual Lala service.
Apple Lala rumor hints at iTunes streaming
Apple may be on the verge of buying out streaming music site Lala, a leak indicated on Friday. The iTunes operator is understood to be in "very advanced" negotiations and may have even already agreed to all terms with only a formal signing needed to complete the deal. None of the companies involved have commented on the CNET rumor.
Google Music Search uses iLike, Lala
Google at a Los Angeles event tonight unveiled its widely expected advanced music search feature. The addition (a video of which is available below) automatically parses regular searches for music from all four major labels and automatically filters it by artist, album or track; users can then either sample or buy the tracks through Lala or MySpace's iLike. Those who use recommendation-based Internet streaming service like iMeem, Pandora or Rhapsody can also find related music.
Google Audio would include iLike, Lala
Google's rumored Audio music service will be less controversial than rumored at first based on two follow-up leaks. Multiple contacts tell Reuters that it will automatically provide players for MySpace-owned iLike or Lala when users search for songs on Google and provide at least the option of playing a sample or else buying the MP3. EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner are all believed to have linked their music to the service.
Facebook Music Rumor
A previously hinted-at Facebook music service could be true after all, a claim made by VentureBeat suggests. Previously discredited, a now supported rumor asserts that the social network is allegedly planning to team up with a partner such as iLike, imeem, Lala or RealNetworks' Rhapsody to offer a way of at least streaming full songs over artist pages or those friends who bring up songs in the regular Facebook news feed. The service would potentially let users buy downloads, though whether this would involve the partner or simply linking to a third party such as Amazon or iTunes is unknown.
Lala Music Service
Lala today introduced a music service it claims will escape some of the limitations of conventional music stores. The self-titled service functions as a regular online service with unprotected MP3 songs downloadable at a minimum 89 cents per track but also grants customers immediate access to their collections over the web by scanning users' existing music collections in iTunes or other apps, including FairPlay-protected iTunes Store purchases.