Google Grabs Songza as Streaming Music Race Heats Up

Yowza wowza, Google just bought Songza for a reported $39 million. As you might guess by its name, Songza is a music streaming and recommendation service. Free to users, it offers playlists crafted by music experts.

That, in itself, is not much different than what other music streaming and recommendation services offer. But Songza has a different spin on digital music with its playlists that are based on mood, time of day or activity. For example, you can spin a list for working out or sleep time, waking up or commuting. You can also tap songs based on specific interests, themes and eras.

Google confirmed the purchase, though not the sales price, on its Google Play Google+ page. The technology giant said Songza has built a EUgreat serviceEU that uses contextual expert-curated playlists to give you the right music at the right time.

EUWe aren't planning any immediate changes to Songza, so it will continue to work like usual for existing users,EU Google said. EUOver the coming months, weEUll 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.EU

Answering Apple?

Is this GoogleEUs answer to Apple's $3 billion purchase of Beats? Not exactly, but it could be a move against the likes of Spotify and even Beats Music, which industry watchers say accounted for about $500 million of the $3 billion deal.

Google Play is home to a music download store and a subscription music service known as All Access that is going head to head with Spotify, though perhaps without the strong brand recognition in this competitive space.

We caught up with Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, to get his take on the latest Google buy. He...

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