So Apple acquired music streaming service Lala and everyone was like “okay, cool.” Then MP3.com founder Michael Robertson writes a guest post on TechCrunch proposing that Apple will use Lala to create a cloud-based iTunes service and everyone slaps their foreheads in a brief, yet simultaneous, moment of epiphany. We’re not saying Robertson’s claims are true or have been confirmed in any way by Apple, but it does make sense.
Robertson, a 12-year veteran of the digital music business, says he believes Apple will not offer a subscription music service in the future but rather create an iTunes service that will make content accessible from anywhere. Over a month ago the Wall Street Journal reported—as they often do—some interesting news from Apple. The WSJ said Apple will change its iTunes business model to focus on Internet-based content. The WSJ reported that the “key vehicle for the move is Apple’s newly acquired music-streaming service Lala Media Inc.” for which Apple paid $85 million. Robertson had about the same thing to say in his TechCrunch appearance.
“An upcoming major revision of iTunes will copy each user’s catalog to the net making it available from any browser or net connected ipod/touch/tablet,” Robertson wrote. “The Lala upload technology will be bundled into a future iTunes upgrade which will automatically be installed for the 100+ million itunes users with a simple ‘An upgrade is available…’ notification dialog box. After installation iTunes will push in the background their entire media library to their personal mobile iTunes area.”
Robertson wrote that he expects a mobile iTunes in 2010 that will allow Apple to “protect their media franchise from encroachment,” and that once mobile iTunes is loaded “users will be able to navigate and play their music, videos and playlists from their personal URL using a browser based iTunes experience.”
Robertson also notes that this new iTunes cloud will be readily available to all iPhone, iPod and tablet devices—perhaps we are in for more than we expected with Apple’s press conference on the 27th.