Google Buys Music Streaming Service Songza

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Yesterday Songza officially announced that they were now part of the Google team after weeks of rumors of the potential acquisition. Songza broke the news on its blog and an email blast to its users stating, “We can’t think of a better company to join in our quest to provide the perfect soundtrack for everything you do”. Both Google and Songza have been tight lipped on the sale price for this transaction but earlier this month a New York Post suggested it was around the $15 million mark.

Songza has been around since 2007. The music streaming service is best known for its curated playlists which centralize around moods, time of day or events and activities. The company has raised $6.7 million in funding with participation from investors like Deep Fork Capital, Troy Carter, William Morris Endeavor and Amazon.

Songza established a Canadian arm, Songza Canada Inc., back in October of last year. At that time, the team consisted of only two members including Managing Director Vanessa Thomas who, prior to this role, ran Nielson Music North American Sales after years of music industry experience in California, New York, Nashville and Toronto. The Canadian team today consists of five full-time members including longtime face of The Edge 102.1 radio station, Alan Cross, who was brought on to be the Head of Canadian Curation.

Curating Canadian content was a specific objective for the Canadian team. “Songza is a very emotional service. It wants to be the soundtrack to whatever you are doing to make it that much better throughout your day”. Thomas told BetaKit when we sat down with her back in May. Thomas told us that Songza Canada’s focus for the past couple of months has been to “grow our footprint as fast as they can” and “align ourselves with the right partners to really dig into and represent the Canadian culture”. Some of these partners include Canadian music festivals like NXNE, TIFF, Luminato and World Pride.

Songza’s love for Canada is entirely reciprocal. Canadians love their Songza. Active users are now 2.7 million here in Canada which is about half of total Songza listeners Thomas told us. 60% of this activity is on mobile with iOS being by far the biggest piece of that pie. And these mobile listeners are loyal too. Songza sees an 85% retention rate 30-days after someone downloads the app.

Both Songza and Google have stated that users shouldn’t expect to see any immediate changes with the purchase. But Google did post that, “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”.

With Google having just recently launched Google Play Music in Canada back in May of this year and with the recent Apple Beats purchase at $3 billion dollars we are sure to see some activity coming out of the Songza-Google deal as the music streaming wars continue to heat up.

Tom Emrich

Tom Emrich

As a writer, consultant and community builder, Tom Emrich uses his passion for new technologies to act as a catalyst to bring on the future. He founded We Are Wearables, an organization that rallies the tech community together to learn, discuss and celebrate the wearable tech space in order to foster adoption and facilitate innovation. We Are Wearables currently has chapters in Toronto and Chicago. Tom writes regularly about wearables and other emerging technologies for MobileSyrup, BetaKit and Designers of Things. He also works with startups, and large organizations as an advisor and consultant offering assistance on product development, marketing and organizational strategy.