The Tech Giant Streaming Music Wars heated on Tuesday with the announcement that Google bought Songza. Like Beats Music, the service Apple picked up when it bought Beats Electronics, Songza focuses on providing playlists curated by human beings.
A Songza tweet:
"Exciting news today," Google said in a Google+ post, "we’re thrilled to welcome +Songza to Google. They’ve built a great service which uses contextual expert-curated playlists to give you the right music at the right time."
The emphasis on human-created content is exactly the sort of thing that Apple was most interested in about Beats. Human-curated content has also emerged as the differentiating feature in the crowded streaming music market.
What was interesting is that Google also said it will be looking for "opportunities" to bring the Songza experience to "YouTube and other Google products." The mention of "other Google products" is probably a red herring, but YouTube could certainly benefit from improved discovery. The possibilities are intriguing.
Another Songza tweet:
Terms of the deal weren't announced, but the News Corp rag The New York Post reported that Google paid around $35 million for Songza. That's 1.17 percent of the $3 billion price tag Apple paid for Beats, though Apple's purchase price included Beat's profitable headphone business and founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.
It did, however, include Elias Roman, Songza's founder, and he was able to secure some $4.7 million in funding from venture capitalists including Amazon and other Silicon Valley VCs. He has also shepherded the company to steady growth in the short time the company has existed.