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July 02, 2014

Google Officially Purchases Streaming Music Service Songza

Reports early last month were that Internet giant Google was looking to purchase the human-curated music streaming service Songza. It turns out those reports were accurate and now the sale, for a reported $39 million is official. The acquisition of the streaming music service makes Google a player in the future of an industry that has become quite crowded over the last few months especially.

The acquisition also potentially gives Google a different leg to stand on that the other streaming music services that are currently relying solely on automatic curation. Songza was a company, launched in 2007 that used human curation to populate all sorts of different playlists that corresponded with a massive range of situations. There was a playlist for those who wanted to listen to music for “single people,” music for when it was sunny or clowdy and of course for situations like a dance party or a workout.

The platform has managed to put together a rather large database of user listening habits and its this feature that likely made Songza attractive to Google. Songza, in its pre-Google iteration offered up a free version that came with some advertising and an ad-free version that charged $0.99 a week. That model is apparently going to be sticking around, at least for the present time according to both companies.

Songza and Google have both said customers of the music service will be getting all the features they have been enjoying but it stands to reason some of those features will also be incorporated into Google Play Music and even YouTube. Both firms also announced that staff for Songza would remain in the company’s Long Island offices for the next few weeks but will eventually get absorbed completely and will be moving into Google’s New York City headquarters.

The acquisition might not be a game changer in the fight against services like iRadio and Pandora right away, but considering that Google Play music is facing an uphill battle against those firms, this move could prove to be a big boon in the long term. If for no other reason, Google has just added a decent stable of customers to its existing base while adding features it couldn’t offer previously.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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