July 2, 2014
Songza Acquired By Google, No Immediate Service Changes Expected
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
On Tuesday Google Inc. announced that it had acquired streaming music service Songza, and while the terms of the deal were not disclosed online reports suggested that Google paid far more than a song for the service. The New York Times reported that a person briefed on the deal, but was not authorized to speak about its terms, said that Google may have paid more than $39 million for the music service.
"Exciting news today — we're thrilled to welcome +Songza to Google. They've built a great service which uses contextual expert-curated playlists to give you the right music at the right time. We aren't planning any immediate changes to Songza, so it will continue to work like usual for existing users. Over the coming months, 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 on #Android (http://goo.gl/urYGx6) or iOS (http://goo.gl/c0egja) to find a playlist for any mood you’re in — whether you’re feeling a little mellow or a lot funky."
Google added that Songza's employees will continue to work from Songza's offices in New York City.
Songza, which launched in the United States and Canada in 2011, provides music playlists on its website and is also available as Android and iOS apps. It reportedly had some 5.5 million regular users at the end of last year, and its niche in the streaming music space is that its team creates playlists to match various times of the day and week, as well as music for various activities such as working, working out, and studying.
In March of this year the Songza signed a deal with the Weather Channel to create weather-driven recommendations based on the current weather conditions of the listener.
In this way the goal of Songza has been to take concierge service to music playlists for all occasions and situtations.
"We can’t think of a more inspiring company to join in our quest to provide the perfect soundtrack for everything you do," Songza said in a statement, as reported by the New York Times.
This deal follows Apple Inc.'s $3 billion acquisition of Beats, which also offered playlists curated by music experts – and suggests that streaming music could very well be the next battleground between Apple and Google.
Reuters' Alexei Oreskovic reported sales of digital music downloads have been in the decline in recent months, while at the same time streaming music services including Pandora Media Inc. and Spotify have seen increasing popularity.
Last month e-commerce giant Amazon also announced a new music service that would be tied to its Amazon Prime, and would be linked to its newly announced smartphone.
Google has been stepping up its efforts in the music space, and launched its Play All Access subscription service last year, while it further announced that its YouTube video website would also launch a paid streaming service. However, in recent weeks Google may have skipped a beat or two when it was announced that some indie music would be blocked from the subscription service on YouTube.