Apple's Discontinuation of Lala Streaming Music Service Not Likely Leading to Imminent Launch of Web-Focused iTunes

With today's news that Apple is planning a May 31st shutdown for Lala Media, the streaming music service it acquired last December, speculation has arisen that Apple may be on the verge of launching its own cloud-based version of iTunes. MediaMemo reports, however, that industry sources are indicating that such a move would have to occur a bit further down the road.

Sources tell me that in the past few weeks, Apple has started signaling to the labels that it's interested in a Web-based version of iTunes, its dominant music retail platform. But those conversations are preliminary at best.

The music industry has reportedly rejected Apple's earlier proposals for a cloud-based iTunes, claiming that offering users the ability to stream a single purchased track to multiple devices should require the labels to receive greater revenue than they do under the current system, a position Apple and its customers would generally not be likely to accept.

The report notes that Apple could try to argue that users have the legal right to stream their purchased content to their own devices as they see fit, but such a move would antagonize the record labels and also likely hamper Apple's efforts to expand its content deals in other media segments such as television networks.