Songza acquired by Google

Google is taking on Apple's acquisition of Beats Music with its own acquisition of Songza, a streaming service that delivers "contextual expert-curated playlists" to listeners. Right now, Google is running Songza as a separate company, but Google Play revealed in a Google+ post that it expects to roll Songza's beloved features into Google Play.

"We aren't planning any immediate changes to Songza, so it will continue to work like usual for existing users," Google Play stated in a post on Google+. "Over the coming months, we'll explore ways to bring what you love about Songza to Google Play Music."

We're also hearing that Songza's features could also appear in the future in YouTube as well.

Source: Google Play

 

Reader comments

Google takes on Beats with Songza acquisition

33 Comments

Songza is easily one of my most used and favorite apps. Honestly... Songza and Sonos together changed my life. Have listened to more music in the last two years with that combo than I did on the last 20. And life is way more fun with music.

I predict Google buys Sonos next.

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Sonos seems to have a pretty narrow focus, and a large portion of it centers around merging multiple services under one easily controlled device... Not sure how that aligns with Google's goals. If they just wanted to make Play Music streaming boxes there's far cheaper ways (shoot, just make a Chromecast with RCA & optical out, call it Songcast).

I absolutely love Songza. If they implement those features into G music I'll be a very happy camper.

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I'm not sure a massive corporation like Google can move that quickly, I'm guessing they've been eyeing the acquisition for a while.

Looks like it's only available in the USA, I'll be interested to see how they roll this into Play Music for the rest of the world.

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Beats was as much about the hardware as anything, that headphone division has mad profit margins (as does Apple).

Oh and Apple has been buying up other streaming and music stores for years. I still remember receiving a 10ยข check from Apple a few years ago when I opted for a refund on my Lala balance rather than iTunes credit.

Postage probably cost as much as the check was worth, heh, Lala was way ahead of it's time too.

I thought that the Beats purchase was more about the streaming service. Yeah it's not that popular or robust, but put the power of iTunes behind it and you've got an Apple presence on Android. BAM! The hardware was just an added bonus.

How does Songza differ from other services? I'm just curious...

My frame of reference is admittedly very limited, I still prefer buying my music rather than subscribing (and sometimes I still buy CDs to rip to FLAC/MP3 myself). Only time I stream is when I've just bought stuff on Amazon and haven't downloaded it...

Once in a blue moon I'll use Pandora (particularly on a long road trip) for some variety or to discover new stuff... Not putting streaming down btw, just genuinely curious what's special about Songza.

Songza is all "curated" playlists and they have them grouped for "moods". Some of the playlists are created by famous musicians and they're all in the same/similar genre of music. Give it a try. It's an excellent service.

Cool, thanks for the info. Might check it out for the novelty of playlists from musicians I know, if nothing else.

Similar services that may come to mind are Accuradio or the channels portion of Slacker.

I use Accuradio and Songza concurrently as they offer different setlists and multiple multiple genres.

I've loved the full access to albums of Google music but radio mixes were terrible. I was using songza already glad to have it integrated into g music.

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I've used Songza almost exclusively for at least a year now - I tried the Google All Access when it first came out but opted to not continue after the 30 day trial. Am I not reading this correct or what? Would this mean that potentially to listen to "Songza" you will have to have All Access ?

Songza offers well curated playlists based on the day of the week, time of day, and what activity you are engaged in. Oh, and it's free.

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I've long been a fan and regular user of Songza. However, lately I've been using Amazon Music more and more. Amazon Prime offers playlists on par with Songza in my opinion.

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I don't have a problem with companies (Google, Apple) buying smaller companies to improve their own services, but I can't help but think about the impact it has. How long until the market is no longer truly competitive?

Many, many entrepreneurs love to be bought out at high prices and move on to develop new innovations. The hope of being bought out drives many to compete in the first place. Competition thus thrives.

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I think this is great news for the folks at Songza. But I have mixed feelings. I can't help recalling the Google acquisition of one of my favorite apps - Zagat. It was great until Google acquired it. Then it became practically unuseable for about a year and is only now just getting back to being useable again. Zagat still isn't what it was at the time of Google's acquisition, but I am more hopeful than I was this time last year.

I only recently discovered Songza because I was looking for another streaming radio service after becoming fed up with Pandora, its intrusive ads, and its new subscription model. I love Songza - especially its integration with my Sonos system! The music curation isn't perfect, but it's pretty damned good. I love being able to select from the "Concierge" or based on my mood, activity or the genre. I also have Google All Access, but I find that streaming far less intuitive. For instance, at work, I really like to listen to classical music - but instrumental only. There is no easy way to designate that in All Access, but there is in Songza. In All Access, I can choose a radio station based on - Chopin - for example; and inevitably some annoying operatic aria will make its way into the playlist even though Chopin has almost nothing to do with opera. But in Songza, if I want instrumental piano music, guitar music, violins or even harp music, I can find it and listen to it without unpleasant playlist surprises - for the most part.

I really hope Google doesn't suck the guts out of Songza while it's being integrated into All Access. Even though I enjoy All Access too, I find myself listening to Songza more. One of the reasons for that is I like the whimsy of music based on how I'm feeling with the added bonus of disccovering new music that also reflects my feelings. It will be so disappointing to me if Google chucks what makes Songza fun out the window while only marginally improving All Access.

This is much needed, Play Music is a great service for playing your own cloud music, but curated playlist are basically nonexistent. That's one area where Spotify is miles ahead in my opinion, so hopefully this will get them up to speed.