-- Is Apple is letting the Lala music service wither? ZDNet’s Ed Bott has noticed a few signs that point to yes. First, Lala has discontinued uploading songs through its Music Mover application (it finds music tracks and uploads to cloud storage). The Music Mover will still match songs to the Lala catalog, however. So, obscure and unlicensed songs stand less chance of being added to a user’s Lala collection. Second, Lala has closed the beta testing for its iPhone app. (ZDNet)

-- Greycroft Partners has raised $130.7 million for Greycroft II, a venture capital fund that will invest in early stage digital media companies. Greycroft I’s investments include The Huffington Post, Pump Audio and ContentNext Media. (paidContent)

-- Digital distributor the Orchard announced it opened an office in Nashville’s Music Row. David Kastle, previously VP at Buddy Killen Music Group, will head the office. (Daily Rind blog)

-- Jay Frank makes a good point about Q1 digital sales: as digital albums rose 16% last quarter, it appears labels may finally be succeeding at turning some track buyers into album buyers. Lower album prices and higher track prices mean the album/track ratio has dropped to the 4 to 6 range (as opposed to the standard ratio of ten that existed for many years). Just increasing tracks to $1.29 wasn’t going to move the needle. Dropping album prices (which can mean fewer songs and more frequent releases) was a necessary step in getting more album sales. (FutureHit.DNA)

-- UK-based Mflow, a music application that enables playing and sharing, has launched. The “flow” in Mflow represents recommendations that flow from users to followers. It’s more or less like a social network for music lovers – only it takes place outside typical social networks. When a user buys a song or album at Mflow based on your recommendation, you earn credit worth 20% of the price paid. Those credits cannot be redeemed for cash, but they can buy music. The application is currently available only to people within the UK. (This Is Money)

-- How does a promoter approach pricing tickets for one of today’s most popular artists? Assume inelastic demand. Jason Garner, CEO of Global Music at Live Nation, told the New York Times, “A concert by Lady Gaga is not discretionary spending, it’s a huge part of her fans’ lives.” Discretionary income is what a person is left after taxes and necessities such as shelter, food, clothing, and, in some cases, concert tickets. Indeed, over the years top artists have raised their prices without sacrificing sales volume. (New York Times)

-- Two Wharton marketing professors have included Radiohead’s name-your-price release of “In Rainbows” in their new book, “Smart Pricing.” Here’s a section of the interview in which John Zhang explains the situation in which letting consumers name their price makes sense. “[A] condition on which you probably want to use pay-as-you-wish pricing is the situation where the marketplace is very, very competitive. If it is very competitive, you are not going to make much money in the first place. In fact, in that kind of a market what you want to do is to take the pricing discretion out of the hands of the firms who are selling the product. If you do that, then you have no way to compete on price. It cushions the price competition quite a bit if you use pay-as-you-wish pricing. It turned out that the music industry is very, very competitive. If you let the consumers set the price, then you don't have to compete on price.” (Knowledge@Wharton)

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