Report: Google in talks to buy Songza
According to the Post, Google’s Larry Page is allegedly in cahoots with the six-year-old Songza to acquire the company’s music curation and streaming service for $15 million. Songza currently has 5.5 million active users, a paltry number compared to the 77 million active users on Pandora and 40 million active users on Spotify—two streaming services that have all but set the precedent for this particular niche in the industry.
However, it's not likely that Google is after the streaming service (it's already got one in Google Play Music), but rather Songza’s playlist curation services, which are quite impressive when stacked up to the status quo. When Google introduced its Google Play All Access music streaming service at last year’s Google I/O, it highlighted its ability to start a radio station from any song. “The technology we use is based on a combination of machine hearing technology,” Paul Joyce, Product Manager for Google Play Music, told me over the phone at the time. Conversely, Songza’s playlists are curated by the company’s “music experts,” which would help give Google some of the edge it needs to lock users into its services and keep them invested in their Google accounts. It would also help it compete directly against Apple's Beats, which touts the fact that it has its own team of playlist curators.
Songza is a free music service and only recently introduced an advertising model. It also has some investment from other sources like Amazon and even Justin Bieber's manager (yes, seriously).
As of now, neither Google nor Songza have offered a comment on the matter.