Ever since Apple acquired the music streaming site LaLa last December, there have been no shortage of rumors detailing a supposed Apple initiative that would allow users to stream purchased iTunes content from the cloud. Coupled with Apple’s expansive 500,000 square ft. data center in North Carolina, the only thing missing, assuming Apple was interested, was obtaining pertinent music licenses from record labels.
Unfortunately for Apple, LaLa’s licenses for streaming music weren’t transferable to Apple in the wake of the acquisition, and the music licenses Apple currently pays for don’t allow Apple to stream music over the air. That being the case, Apple needs to negotiate those licensing rights with record labels and those efforts are reportedly proving unsuccessful.
And now comes news that whatever grandiose plans Apple may have had for a streaming iTunes service are going to be scaled back. CNET reports:
But eight months after the acquisition, Apple is telling executives at the four top labels that if Apple offers any cloud-music features within the next few months, they will likely be “modest in scope” and not include the kind of functionality that Apple outlined in meetings with the labels, such as storing users’ music on its servers, sources told CNET. They added that Apple still hasn’t negotiated the kind of licensing deals it would need to distribute music from the cloud.
Moreover, the report notes that LaLa employees who transferred over to Apple aren’t even working on music related initiatives. Instead, they’re busy working on an “undisclosed video feature”. And while Apple reportedly told LaLa executives that they’d receive “key positions helping shape music strategy for the iTunes Store”, it appears that that isn’t going to happen – at least for the time being. After all, if Apple is still struggling to acquire streaming rights from record labels, there’s only so much the folks from LaLa can do.
And so, the dream of “limitless” storage remains just that.