Songza has confirmed it has been acquired by Google for somewhere around the $15 million mark. The music streaming startup has been working on its platform since 2007, offering recommended playlists for the weather and mood.
The acquisition comes after Apple acquired Beats Electronics for $3 billion, getting both the audio hardware and music streaming service in the deal. This will bolster Apple’s own iTunes Radio service and might open up other music opportunities.
Google’s deal is obviously a lot cheaper, but still brings talent to the table, alongside a valuable service. Google will not immediately shut down Songza, the team said they want to make the service better and faster, not close it.
For the most part, Google has looked to keep popular services open even after the acquisition, Waze Maps is still available to download and there are other services Google has kept under their wing, YouTube being the biggest example.
YouTube might now be a big part of Songza’s acquisition – the new YouTube Music Pass service coming in the next few months will offer fans of the service a premium music library, to use on mobile, without having to watch the video.
The different algorithms implemented in Songza to understand mood, time and location all fit into what YouTube Music Pass or Google Play All Access, their other music service, could offer to users.
Recommendations is a great way for Spotify and other music streaming services to earn money, instead of the same few tracks being played over and over again, having the user play recommended tracks lets them experience new music, leading them to new artists.
When a user finds a new artist on a streaming service, in means they might dig deeper into their catalogue, perhaps even go and buy the album on iTunes, giving Spotify a cut of the action. Having a good recommendation design could help Google achieve even better music sales.
Songza’s acquisition will most likely close in the next few months, we will have to wait and see if Google remains true to its word about keeping the service open.