Skip to main content

Lala.com wants to make swapping more popular

Whilst strolling around on the internet, wasting my precious time looking for useless four-word domain names for my new venture, I accidentally stumbled across lala.com.

Lala has been launched today by mere coincidence, and its idea is as simple as its name: basically, those registered can exchange one CD for another. Already, 1.8 million album titles are available; Lala could easily become the next Netflix or Screenselect.

Strange though it may sound, exchanging CDs is not illegal. Since you are only “transferring” the rights of something acquired legally, the RIAA will not come after Lala members, at least for the time being.

Eventually, Lala will expand into DVDs, digital tracks, and possibly games. Dozens of those (opens in new tab) already exist online, but the start-up is much more than mere exchange. With the emergence of Web2.0, providing a service is now more about value-added proposals.

As Siliconvalley’s John Boudreau pointed out, Lala is like a cross between Ebay, Myspace and iTunes. You will therefore be able to buy brand new CDs and digital music, and receive comments and advice from other users. All this on top of doing a good deed each time you exchange a CD, since a fifth of Lala’s revenue is given back to the Artists community.

The system, however, is not without pitfalls as it faces legal and administrative challenges. Lala will have to reach a critical mass of regular swappers before it can even consider taking on giants like Netflix or iTunes.

already exist online but the start-up is much more than mere exchange; with the emergence of Web2.0, providing service is now more about value added proposals.

As Siliconvalley's John Boudreau pointed out, Lala is like a cross between Ebay, Myspace and iTunes. You will therefore be able to buy brand new CDs, digital music, advice and receive comments from other people as well as doing a good action each time you exchange a CD. A fifth of Lala's revenue is given back to the Artists community.

The system though is not without pitfalls as it faces legal and administrative challenges. Lala will have to reach a critical mass of regular swappers before even envisaging taking on giants like Netflix or iTunes.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.