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-- A Forbes.com article on music streaming services has some important information on Lala: the service/store gets 20 purchases for every 100 free streams. Of those 20 transactions, 12 are a ten-cent web song and eight are MP3s. No indication is given about those transactions' song/album split, a key aspect to the site's 20% conversation rate. Assuming - just for fun - the transactions are just for single tracks, those 100 free streams turn into revenue of $8.32. If one uses the typical "penny per stream" benchmark, those 100 streams net $7.32 in revenue. Lala's 20% conversion rate is an improvement over the 18% rate the company claimed it was achieving in March 2009. The company claimed an 18% conversion rate in January 2009 as well. Last week news broke that Lala is partnering with Google to get its music streams in the company's search results. News about Lala's pending deal with Facebook also broke last week. (Forbes.com)

-- To get an idea of what Lala has been aiming for, listen to this 19-minute podcast with CEO Geoff Ralston from December 2008. (Inside Digital Media)

-- As music consumption moves to cloud-based services, the cost of personal storage continues to drop. What does the future hold for digital music collections? According to a new study, if hard disk drive innovation continues at its current pace, by 2020 a two-disk, 2.5-inch disk drive will hold more than 14 TB and will cost about $40. The study also found that flash memory technology will reach technical limits that will prevent flash drives from replacing hard disk drives by that time. (Physorg.com)

-- While buzz about the holiday shopping season is down 3% compared to last year, two trends have emerged: parents are talking about must-have items within online communities; and buzz about gift cards is on the rise (in part because retailers are using them to lure shoppers). (Nielsen Wire)

-- Bobby Haber, the founder and chief executive of CMJ, and John Scher, co-CEO of Metropolitan Talent, talked with the New York Times about their companies' merger and the state of the industry. Said Scher: "What CMJ gives Metropolitan is access to music and new opportunities in the most important, most desirable demographic out there. We get to take advantage of their direct relationships with over 500 college radio stations, and be in a position to not only be in the front of the line for discovering new artists and new music but also to be in a place where we can bring tours to college campuses under their auspices and work with college radio - which is the only place left in broadcast radio where there is a lot of actual discovery going on. We can expand that. There's also opportunities with the film festival, which is part of the marathon here." (New York Times)

Follow Billboard senior analyst Glenn Peoples on Twitter at twitter.com/billboardglenn.