Apple has purchased online music retailer Lala.com, as the dominant online music retailer explores new models for selling songs.
Lala.com is a Silicon Valley startup that has threatened "the end of the MP3" with its fast song-streaming application.
Apple has not disclosed the terms of the deal.
The Lala service allows users to stream from the Internet any tune in its catalog of more than 8 million songs once for free, and then sells unlimited streams for 10 cents per track and MP3 downloads starting at 79 cents.
The song quality is lower than what Apple's iTunes songs offer, but tracks can played in seconds, and cost much less than the songs on iTunes, which generally are priced at 69 cents to $1.29 each.
Lala has also reportedly developed an application that allows users to buy the right to stream songs from a digital locker for an unlimited time on their iPhones for 10 cents each.
Lala has also partnered with Facebook to offer music through the social networking site. Google is also providing song samples along with links to purchase the music from Lala.