“Maybe music consumers don’t have to own their songs anymore.” – USA Today
After years of resisting efforts to offer music fans the ability to “rent” music instead of buying downloads, Apple is finally joining the party. Apple’s purchase of online music service Lala brings the No. 1 music retailer into the streaming music business.
For years, the music industry has advanced subscription services such as Rhapsody and Napster, saying they made more sense for the consumer and better profits for the labels. But the services have not panned out.
What has changed is the popularity of free streaming services, led by Pandora, which has 40 million monthly listeners worldwide. You can’t choose specific songs, but you can choose your favorite artists. Pandora then creates a music experience for you with similar-sounding music. Pandora is widely popular on the Web and on smartphones, including the iPhone.
Inside Digital Media analyst Phil Leigh says
“There’s no doubt this will become the successor to radio and be how new music will be popularized”