Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Google Buys Songza for $39 Million

Google purchases human-curated music streaming service, hints at things to come

By: J.S. Côté

Published: July 2nd, 2014 in Business » World

Google has purchased US-based, human-curated music streaming service Songza for a reported $39 million.

The service – which provides its users with personalized music playlists dependent on anything from their location, mood, or more abstract situations such as “being single” – has a vast database of information on listening habits and how they change according to context, something which could be tremendously valuable to Google.

Launched in 2007 with the unique offer of human-curated playlists, Songza has at various points had musicians and Rolling Stones writers selecting music, while other services were more interested in automated recommendation features.

It was, however, never introduced outside of the US and Canada.

While the ad-inclusive service can be used for free, some of the 5.5 million active subscribers do choose to pay $0.99 a week for the premium service to remove them.

Songza announced the news on its blog alongside a mock-up of its logo in Google’s familiar multi-coloured branding, stating they were thrilled to become part of the Google family.

“We can’t think of a better company to join in our quest to provide the perfect soundtrack for everything you do,” they said in the announcement. “No immediate changes to Songza are planned, other than making it faster, smarter, and even more fun to use.”

The company’s staff will remain in their Long Island City offices for the next few weeks, but will be relocating to Google’s New York headquarters in the near future.

In their own announcement, Google praised the service, saying Songza had “built a great service which uses contextual expert-curated playlists to give yo the right music at the right time,” while also hinting at implementing the service’s features into its own existing brands, such as Google Play Music and Youtube.

“Over the coming months,” Google said, “we’ll explore ways to bring what you love about Songza to Google Play Music. We’ll also look for opportunities to bring their great work to the music experience on Youtube and other Google products. In the meantime, check out their service to find a playlist for any mood you’re in – whether you’re feeling a little mellow or a lot funky.”

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