Google, which prides itself on organizing the world’s information, just acquired a music service that tries to play just the right series of songs, based on your mood, your activities or even the day and time.
On its website, Songza announced ‘Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’re becoming part of Google. We can’t think of a better company to join in our quest to provide the perfect soundtrack for everything you do.”
The statement said that “No immediate changes to Songza are planned, other than making it faster, smarter, and even more fun to use.”
The service, which runs on iOS, Android and the web, plays music based on what you say is your mood, the activity you’re engaged in, a decade you like or a music genre. There is also a “concierge” feature that helps pick a play list depending on the day of the week or time of day because people often want to listen to different music on Thursday morning than they do on Saturday night.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Songza has 5.5 million, compared to 75 million for Pandora or 40 million for Spotify and Apple.
In an interview with CNET News, Songza Chief Executive Elias Roman said “Songza Chief Executive Elias Roman said “We’re moving to a time when context is king, when people don’t have to find things.” In other words, you don’t have to select your music, your music selects you.
In this regard, Songza reminds me a bit of Cone, a new Internet-connected speaker system that connects to your home wireless network to stream music and other audio but also picks music for you based on your listening habits. Cone learns what you like to listen to based on when and where you’re listening. It may come to realize that you like rock in the morning, folk in the afternoon and classical at night, for example. Or it may learn that you like to listen to certain music in certain rooms if you move the transportable speaker to another room.
Why it makes sense for Google and why there are privacy implications
The acquisition makes a lot of sense for Google. To begin with, it give Google a competitor not just to Pandora and Spotify but also Beats music service that was recently acquired by Apple. But it also fits into Google’s business model of not only organizing information but obtaining information about its users. With Songza, Google not will not only know what music you’re listening to, but what mood you’re in and what activities you’re engaged in. I’m not saying that they’re use that information, but they certainly will be able to obtain it.