Good news for fans of Google Play Music: Google has announced that it’s acquiring Songza, a music streaming company that specializes in curated playlists.
Hopefully this is good news for Songza too, since the startup now has access to Google-sized resources. But Google has a habit of shutting down products from the companies it acquires after picking the bones clean.
The Songza team says there are “no immediate changes to Songza” planned, but it’s too early to say what the deal means for Songza users in the long term.
Songza’s been providing the soundtrack to my workday for the past few months since I first really delved into the service. But Songza’s been providing free and ad-free streaming music for a few years.
At first glance it’d be easy to confuse Songza with other online radio services such as Pandora. What makes Songza different are the hand-picked track lists that go in each playlist so that when you choose “A Profoundly Funky Dance Party,” “Bludgeoning Riffery,” “Dancing with Myself,” or “Dark Side of the Synth,” you’ll get a good range of appropriate music tracks to go with the sometimes-whimsical playlist titles.
Songza has hundreds of playlist which you can sift through by genre, decade, or mood. But you can also use the Concierge Service which offer suggestions based on the time of day.
It’s too early to say which of these features will eventually find their way to Google Play Music, but Google says in the coming months it plans to “explore ways to bring what you love about Songza to Google Play Music” as well as YouTube and other Google services.
I just hope that means if Songza as we know it goes away, it will live on as a free service for Google Play Music users… and won’t require a Play Music All Access subscription.
Interestingly Apple recently acquired Beats for over $3 billion, at least partially to get its hands on that company’s curated playlist features. I suspect Songza sold for a lower price.