Google buys Songza
Google plans to blend Songza’s technology into its own music-streaming service, Google Play Music All Access, which costs $9.99 per month. Google CEO Larry Page was in talks in early June to acquire the Long Island City-based music curation and streaming service with 5.5 million active users. Songza competes with Pandora, with its 77 million active users, and Spotify’s 10 million active users.
No price was announced, but “Google is offering them around $15 million, the question is, does Songza take it?” said one NY Post source close to the conversations.
If so, the offer seems puny when placed next to Spotify, which has a $4 billion valuation, and Pandora, which has a market cap of $5 billion. If ti’s in the $15 million range, the price is considered to be too small to affect Google Inc., which ended March with $59 billion in cash.
While some streaming companies curate playlists by, perhaps, taking a subscriber’s choice of an artist and offering up songs that are similar to the singer’s style, Songza creates playlists that take into account what people are doing while they’re listening to music.
The home page has suggestions for other states of being, including “working in an office” or “boosting your energy.”
The free service has been dabbling with advertising of late, creating such co-branded playlists as “Sleep Soundly with Febreze.”
Pandora has done the same thing with Lexus—a Lexus-branded music channel.
Songza was the first major streaming service to launch in Canada and garnered a million downloads within three months of launching in 2012. Songza also won a $4.7 million investment round from Amazon and Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun.
Google’s moves come on the heels of Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, which houses an audio/headset company as well as Beats Music.
No immediate changes will occur at Songza, which makes applications for Apple’s iPhone, iPad and devices running on Google’s Android software.
“We can’t think of a better company to join in our quest to provide the perfect soundtrack for everything you do,” Songza said in a post announcing its sale.