Google buys Songza, tunes up its music streaming service

By Lori Sandoval, Tech Times | July 2, 9:31 PM

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Songza

Google has joined forces with Songza, thanks to an acquisition deal that would compete with rivals such as Apple and Amazon in the online music streaming industry. Will it click?
(Photo : Songza/Facebook)

Joining the surge of online music streaming service is Google, with its recent acquisition of online radio streaming service Songza.

Both companies announced the deal on Tuesday in separate statements.

“Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’re becoming part of Google. We can’t think of a better company to join in our quest to provide the perfect soundtrack for everything you do,” reads Songza’s official statement.

“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,” says Google.

In spite of the acquisition, Google and Songza also made it clear that no immediate changes will be made to the latter. Songza adds the service will surely be smarter, faster and more fun to use. Google also says it will find ways on how to bring what Songza users love about its service to Google Play Music and look for more opportunities to bring such service to YouTube and its other products or services.

Research says analysts estimated the purchase price between $15 million and $35 million, but both companies kept mum about it.

Google’s competitors beefed up its music streaming services recently. Apple bought Beats Electronics and Beats Music in May this year for $3 billion. On the other hand, Amazon rolled out its own music streaming called Prime Music. Microblogging site Twitter is allegedly interested to purchase SoundCloud and is on the negotiation process, valued at around $700 million.

"Clearly, tech firms such as Google, Apple and Amazon are placing big bets that music will eventually pay dividends as part of a broader digital content strategy," Paul Verna, eMarketer analyst, said.

Radio advertisements for both mobile and online garnered revenue of $1.65 billion in the U.S. in 2013, eMarketer estimates. This year, it expects to gain a $2-billion increase, about 10 percent of the expected online ad income of Google. eMarketer analysts claim Google can even go bigger if it continues to spend and invest on online music services.

Songza is different from the rest of online music streaming, however. It has almost 50 music curators who create playlists made for particular occasions or activities. The curators recommend the playlists to its listeners depending on factors such as location, weather, time of day, day of week and device used for the app, among others. It is available on Google Play Store for both iOS and Android users.

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