Lala was the pioneer in online music streaming before services like Spotify and Pandora really took off. If you Googled a song pre-2009, a Lala link was the first result. Founded in 2005, Lala underwent some business model changes until it became a full-fledged music streaming site. A partnership with Google’s Music Beta and good connections with the record industry allowed Lala to grow and gain attention from bigger tech companies.
It made sense for Apple to buy Lala in December of 2009. Lala.com was shut down in May of 2010, and Apple has since introduced products like iTunes Match. When Lala was bought, we all knew that Apple had paid around $80 million for the small startup. Now the inside story of how the deal was reached over dinner at Steve Jobs’s house has surfaced.