While I might stand outside the majority of online music listeners who love Pandora, I’ve preferred the site LaLa.com for the past year or so. While Pandora is a great service, I always found it off-putting that I couldn’t listen to exactly the song I was in the mood for. LaLa, allows you to build a playlist with any song of your choosing – and they have a great music library of even the most obscure bands. You can listen to any song once for free and you have the option of paying 10 cents to keep the song in your collection so you can listen to it as much as you want, or you can pay 89 cents to download the mp3 track to your iPod or other music player.
LaLa is well-stocked, affordable and convenient, which is why I was devastated to learn that the site is shutting down after May 31, 2010. Here is the email I received this morning:
While I am thoroughly upset that my remaining balance will be converted to iTunes, which is 10 cents more per song, I am frustrated with the fact that there is no explanation in this email or on the LaLa website detailing why the site is closing.
As a PR professional, I am shocked at communication – or lack thereof – during this transition period for LaLa. Had they presented a full, detailed explanation of why these changes are taking place, I would be much more apt to writing a friendlier blog post about the changes and would be more inclined to part from their services gracefully.
I assume there are legal issues preventing LaLa from disclosing the terms of the termination, yadda yadda yadda. However, LaLa and any other for-profit service has an obligation to its customers to be transparent. While I do not expect an open-book financial and legal run-down, I do expect the simple courtesy of alerting customers and brand advocates of telling them why their favorite online service provider is pulling the plug.
So here’s your chance, LaLa. My comments are open to all, so please let us know!