Black Friday/Cyber Monday Apple Blowout“Apple is close to acquiring digital-music service Lala, according to two sources with knowledge of the discussions,” Greg Sandoval reports for CNET. “Talks are very advanced, said the sources Friday. One said that the sides have already agreed on terms and have only to sign a final agreement.”

“Lala is a streaming-music site that sells songs for 10 cents apiece and enables users to store their music libraries on the company’s servers… [Currently], Lala is not believed to be profitable,” Sandoval reports.

“Exactly what Apple intends to do with Lala remains unclear. Right now, Apple is the largest music store online or offline and has made more money than any other music service by selling downloads. CEO Steve Jobs could have plans to start a streaming service, but my sources told me Friday that Apple managers are very interested in working with Lala’s engineers, who have come up with ‘a payment and fulfillment system that could save Apple millions of dollars a year,'” Sandoval reports. “In addition, Apple wants Lala’s founder Bill Nguyen to come over as part of the acquisition, another source said.”

Sandoval reports, “If Apple is planning some kind of streaming service, the public has shown an appetite for the kind of streams that are free of charge and ad-supported.”

Full article here.

Adam Satariano and Connie Guglielmo report for Bloomberg, “The terms of the deal for privately held Lala weren’t known. The people declined to be identified because talks are still in progress. Investors in Palo Alto, California-based Lala include Boston-based Bain Capital Ventures and Ignition Partners in Bellevue, Washington.”

“Lala offers access to more than 8 million songs, including material from EMI Music, Warner Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group,” Satariano and Guglielmo report. “Apple offers more than 11 million songs through the iTunes store, which it opened in April 2003 and now operates in 23 countries. The company says it is the world’s largest music retailer.”

Satariano and Guglielmo report, “Facebook Inc., the world’s largest social network, announced in October a service that allows its users to buy music for their friends through Lala.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: In late October, Google launched music search with Lala.com. For example, if you google “Taylor Swift,” the first result is a Lala.com listing of 4 full songs that you can listen to in a small pop up window (with a “Buy MP3” button) plus a link to more songs from Lala.com. We covered it here: Google launches music search with Lala and iLike – October 29, 2009. It’s not difficult to imagine that the Google-Lala tie-up are selling some tracks that way. Perhaps Apple has seen an impact from this Google deal which may be influencing this reported move on Lala.com.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe J.” for the heads up.]