Apple has shut down Lala, effective May 31st. No more new subscribers, no more service, no more Lala. Streams have ended as well. The notice was given via the Lala web site, saying "The Lala service has been discontinued as of May 31st, 2010." Embedded Lala music players across the Web have gone offline.
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?
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.
With Apple's big press event known as the Worldwide Developers Conference due next week in San Francisco, the future of Lala has to be going through a radical change. The shut down has happened 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.
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. Lala customers are being issued iTunes Store credit code to still get the music they paid for.