Apple is hedging its bets over a lower-priced Internet song service. As the biggest Internet-music seller in the US, Apple has now bought Web-music service Lala for an undisclosed price, to boost its iTunes song-downloading business. The latest purchase gives Apple another way to sell music, as Lala lets users listen to entire songs once for free, and potential customers can also opt to buy the track for 10 cents and preview it on the Web before buying it. The service is different from iTunes because the music is stored on Internet servers, via so-called cloud technology, instead of getting downloaded to a PC. Investors in Lala include New York-based Warner Music Group, and Boston-based Bain Capital Ventures. The service offers access to more than 8 million songs. If customers ultimately decide to download a track, it costs 79 cents—compared with 69 cents to $1.29 on iTunes. Sounds like Steve Jobs is listening to the market. Read more: Business Week, PC World
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