It’s hard to conclude much from the Apple acquisition of Lala. Except this: it validates Lala’s model of cloud-based song purchases.
Lala’s product model is that you pay for the right to listen to a song on demand, even if you don’t download it. One streaming listen is free, more are ten cents, download is a dollar.
This is central to what Lala is, so it’s not going away unless Apple is planning to gut Lala and keep just a few resources. The iMeem acquisition was that kind of thing. But Lala is on top of its game and this isn’t a desperation deal.
So it seems pretty likely that we’re going to see something like Lala’s cloud-based purchases in the iTunes store.