I had been hearing good things about Lala.com in the media for the past year, but never got around to checking it out, until last month. What got me to finally sign up? This article in the latest issue of Wired magazine, “Free Music Now! Lala.com’s Plan to Give Songs Away Could Upend the Industry.”
Lala lets you create playlists with songs that can be streamed in their entirety … sometimes. And it has aspects of the social networking sites. So while Lala is evolving into something more than a CD swapping site, that’s primarily all it is now.
My experience with swapping so far has been less than impressive. I shipped two CDs by The Smiths before I received my first CD by Handsome Boy Modeling School. I’ve since shipped four more CDs, including that Handsome Boy CD and others by Fiona Apple, R.E.M. and The Thrills, but have yet to receive my second CD.
I’ve shipped six and only received one?! This doesn’t seem like a great deal to me. Lala says:
The more you ship, the more you’ll receive
Lala is based on trading. The number of CDs you receive will depend on how many CDs you ship to other members.
Ok, but how many CDs do I have to ship for every one I receive? Five? Six? Ruling out the Handsome Boy CD, which is a wash, I could have sold the five CDs that shipped to Lala users for anywhere from $20-$50 on Amazon. I could have then used that cash to buy one or two of the CDs I’ve included in my Lala want list.
I’m not giving up on Lala just yet, but I am beginning to wonder whether or not Lala is a good deal.