Google has made yet another acquisition: a music app called Songza. What makes this app so special? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
1. Songza Is Contextual, Curated Streaming Music
— Ina Fried (@inafried) July 1, 2014
Unlike other streaming music apps that generate a stream of music based on the name of an artist, Songza offers curated streaming music based on a number of factors. When the app starts up, it recognizes the day of the week and the current time, and then offers channels based on that information.
For example, loading the app on a Tuesday afternoon around 4:30 during World Cup play, the app suggested music for “boosting your energy” or “watching soccer.” The playlists in the app are curated by music experts, including music journalists or DJs. You can see some sample playlists here.
2. Google’s Purchase of Songza Cost Less Than Apple’s Acquisition of Beats
Check out a conversation with Songza’s founders in the video above.
According to TechCrunch, the price Google paid to buy Songza has not yet been released. TechCrunch speculates about that price tag:
“Originally, Google was reported to be targeting the $15 million mark for this acquisition, though the company has not officially disclosed the terms of the deal. However, we’ve heard that there was also a possibility that Songza was being approached by other suitors, raising the price tag considerably.”
Any price under $3 billion would be far less than what Apple paid to acquire Beats. CNBC notes that Songza’s business model involves three main revenue streams:
“1) display ads on web and mobile
2) sponsored, branded playlists that involve our team of music experts working with brands to create perfect playlists that make something their audience does every day better (it could be cleaning, sleeping, cooking, working out, waking up, entertaining, etc.)
3) we have created a platform that companies can build on top of to offer a co-branded version of Songza tailored to their audience (see BlackPlanet for an example).”
3. Google May Make Songza ‘Smarter’
Get a tour of the Songza app and its features in the video above.
Some tech insiders think that the powerful data collection of Google, combined with the personal curation aspect of Songza, will make for a “smarter” listening experience. The Verge writes:
“Google already has on-demand streaming covered thanks to its Google Play Music All Access service. It’s already got a massive song catalog to pull from. So a Songza purchase would be all about curation and making its music offerings smarter. Apple’s senior executives have said the strong curation offered by Beats Music played a role in their decision to buy all of Beats for $3 billion.”
On their blog, the Songza team writes:
“No immediate changes to Songza are planned, other than making it faster, smarter, and even more fun to use.”
4. Songza Has a Small Team
— iClarified (@iClarified) July 1, 2014
The Wall Street Journal notes that the four-year-old Songza service is run by a team of just 40 people. However, the service’s user base is still small compared to the “big dogs” of the industry:
“Songza’s streaming music app has 5.5 million users, compared with 70 million for Pandora, 40 million for Spotify, and 40 million for Apple’s iTunes Radio.”
5. Songza Leverages Partnerships With Big Celebs
Get a behind-the-scenes look at where the Songza team works in the video above.