Apple will shut down Lala, effective May 31st. No more new subscribers, no more service, no more Lala.
Customers that bought music from Lala can still play those MP3s, although no new music can be uploaded and songs and gift cards are now unavailable. No new subscribers are being taken for Lala's streaming platform. Streams will end on May 31st as well.
The notice was given via the Lala web site, saying "Lala is shutting down, The Lala service will be shut down on May 31st, 2010. Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting new users. Members, you can still use Lala through May 31st, 2010. Log in for details."
Lala was said to have 8 million songs available for streaming and purchase. Apple acquired Lala for anywhere from $20 - $80 million, according to estimates.
So the big question then and now is: how will Apple use LaLa? Will Apple integrate it into iTunes, and allow a personal iTunes library to be available via the web? Will they start offering a subscription-based service like the old Lala for use, or did they just want to get a look under the hood of LaLa's technology?
With Apple's big press event known as the Worldwide Developers Conference due in June in San Francisco, the future of Lala has to be going through a radical change. The shut down date is one week before the conference begins. Apple could mention this during the press event, and the recent speculation/hysteria of a new iPhone 4G make the future of mobile music look very enticing. Imagine this: streaming music from the cloud, via your phone, with high quality audio. In your car, at work, at home, anywhere. That sounds incredible.