Google buys itself a streaming music service
Google has bought a streaming music service called Songza, which delivers context-based content. In other words, the service provides music for the right moments, environments and situations.
The three-year old app is a competitor in the marketplace with Pandora, Grooveshark, Spotify and others in the space. The app is one way that Google can make its way into curating music for people who want personalized service.
The player is reportedly a "Pandora-like" interface that connets user to music that fits the mood accordingly based on user customization. It was said to be a potential force in the move toward the Internet of things, a model that Google has been trekking toward for quite some time, buying several innovative companies along the way.
The price of the sale was not officially disclosed but rumors indicate that it was more than $39 million. The importance of personalization plays an integral role in today's software and hardware offerings. Songza even has a deal with the Weather Channel to offer songs based on weather conditions. Songza said they couldn't think of a more inspiring company to work with.
The company said it wouldn't immediately tinker with the service in any way other than to possibly incorporate it into their other services such as YouTube or Google Play Music. The appeal of Songza is that the service will teach the search engine giant a thing or two about curating playlists for users.
Songza was introduced to the public in 2011 after an initial crash and burn with something called Amie Street. The founders of the music service met at Brown University. Songza grew to 5.5 million users quickly and gained momentum raising capital from investors including Amazon and others. They raised around $12 million.
Pandora, meanwhile has around 75 million users. Songza's opportunity with Google may very well spell out growth, so Pandora could face yet another competitor. Google Play's All Access subscription service was introduced to compete with Spotify already. Spotify boasts ten million subscribers to its personalized streaming service.
More consolidation among the streaming services might mean that only a few will actually survive. That is the opinion of the chief executive of Cumulus Media, a company that owns a significant stake in Rdio streaming service anyway.
So where does the artist stand in this picture? They no doubt have more opportunity for exposure than ever, but the turbulence in the streaming industry has yet to churn out the massive royalty dollars once received within the industry that use to sell pressed compact discs.
Google, according to reports, did not comment on the number of employees that Songza has right now. The service operates out of New York.