updated 08:24 pm EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
Songza purchase by Google estimated to be worth at least $15M
Google has acquired Songza, a music app for Android and iOS which provides curated mood-based playlists. Though purchased for an unknown amount, speculated to be upwards of $15 million, the app will apparently remain active with no immediate changes instead of being shut down, though its features are highly likely to make their way into other Google music products, including Google Play Music and the rumored YouTube music service.
Songza provides human-curated playlists to users in its app, with a team of music experts on hand to craft the track selections instead of using algorithms. TechCrunch reports the company has kept records of what music users prefer to listen to at specific times of the day, locations, activities, and the weather, a data set and a methodology Google could certainly plug into its own services with ease.
Currently, Songza has 5.5 million active users, and while it offers an advertising-supported service, it does provide a $0.99 weekly subscription that removes the marketing. The company will continue to operate out of its Long Island City office for a few weeks before being moved into Google's New York City headquarters, though it is unclear if all of Songza's staff will be retained.
The move to pick up Songza mirrors a more expensive maneuver by Apple, where it bought headphone producer and music service Beats for $3 billion. Possibly a defensive purchase, Songza does provide Google with a radio-style streaming service, something it does not currently have outside of the Google Play Music All Access subscription.