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Google buys Songza music-streaming service

Google has acquired Songza, the free music streaming and curation service.

Speculation had been rife last month that Google was planning a raid on the New York-based company in a $15 million deal.

In the event, it’s not known precisely how much Google has paid in its acquisition of Songza, but The New York Times is reporting that the figure sits at around $39 million. A lot cheaper than Apple’s $3 billion Beats purchase, then.

Of course, the four-year-old Songza service only reaches 5.5 million US users, and doesn’t come with a huge money-spinning headphone business attached.

Available as an iOS and Android app as well as on the web, Songza’s key feature is its contextual music curation element which allows you to select music based on more than just genre. You can also have it select a playlist based on your mood, activity (exercising, for example), or even the weather in your current location, as well as relying on the Songza team to come up with their own themed picks.

Users can vote songs up and down, which will also help to mould the app’s future suggestions. Meanwhile Audyssey support tweaks your music quality for the specific headphones you’re using.

Google says that it isn’t planning any immediate changes to the free Songza app, so existing users can continue to use it as normal for now.

However, Google does note that “over the coming months, we’ll explore ways to bring what you love about Songza to Google Play Music.” It also mentions that YouTube and “other Google services” could benefit from its technology.

In particular, it looks like Google Play Music All Access – Google’s music streaming subscription service – will receive a new playlist curation element from this deal.

Of course, Google Play Music All Access already has a number of clever algorithms forming custom playlists for its users, so it could well be Songza’s hand-picked curation element that Google chooses to fold into its service.


Read More: Forget about design – Apple needs to improve Beats audio quality

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