BUSINESS
11/21/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Gunning For iTunes: New Site Offers Songs For 10 Cents Each

The music junkie has to face the souring economy, too, and it may come to a point where 99 cents for a song on iTunes is too much to pay. For these recession-struck audiophiles, there is a new solution: Lala.com is selling songs at nearly a 90 percent discount off of the iTunes price.

For 10 cents, a user can add a song to his or her library to enjoy -- but only from a browser.

In short, Nguyen is trying to make it easier for Lala.com's customers to sample music and cheaper for them to buy it than at the Apple store where they only get to listen to a 30-second clip before purchasing a song for a 99 cents.

"This will make you just want to consume and consume and consume more music," says Nguyen. He adds that the company already has 300,000 beta users who are doing just that.

Lala.com users will also be able to access their digital music collections from any computer with a web browser.

The site comes from startup veteran Bill Nguyen, who calls Lala.com his own "personal Iraq."

The Los Angeles Times reports that Lala.com has gone through a few iterations, from music swapping to cheap music player:

Lala began in 2006 as a CD-swapping site. In June 2007, it relaunched as a service that allowed visitors to listen to any song -- though only from the Warner Music catalog -- free of charge in hopes that they would then buy CDs. The company shut down that service two months later because it had to negotiate licenses with the major recording companies and independent labels.

As those talks took place over the last year, Bill Nguyen, the company's co-founder and chairman, said he struggled to convey his vision that one's music collection would one day be like e-mail, something to access any time, anywhere. The Web browser would be the new iPod, he said.