Google acquires Songza

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After a few weeks of speculation, Google has acquired Internet radio platform Songza. Financial details have not been disclosed, but the New York Times reports that Google paid at least $39-million, according to an unnamed source.

Google’s announcement says that no immediate changes will happen to Songza, but “Over the coming months, we’ll explore ways to bring what you love about Songza to Google Play Music. We’ll also look for opportunities to bring their great work to the music experience on YouTube and other Google products.”

Songza was founded in 2007, and has raised $6.7-million in venture funding in two rounds, most recently last September. The platform specializes in a type of music curation it calls Concierge, serving music streams based on time of day, mood, and activity of users, matched to their historical music preferences. Songza engages a team of 60 human curators, and has developed a sophisticated music intelligence algorithm to supplement the hand-built playlists.

In a RAIN News interview with Elias Roman, posted yesterday, the Songza CEO emphasized the Big Data operation that his platform has built since launching the Concierge system in 2011. It is easy to imagine that a deep information layer, which both provides a good music experience and helps segment the listeners for targeted advertisers, was an important attraction to Google.

This acquisition comes a month after Apple bought Beats Music. In a crowded and competitive music-service field, consolidation is eliminating competitors by absorbing them.

Brad Hill