Google seems to agree with Apple‘s view that people are better than computer algorithms when it comes to figuring out what songs other people want to hear. The search giant just announced its acquisition of Songza, which “uses contextual expert-curated playlists to give you the right music at the right time,” the company says today in announcing its acquisition. While it plans no changes now, the plan is 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.”
Songza’s 5.5M subscribers makes it a piker next to Pandora’s 70M and Spotify’s 40M. But its business model intrigued investors including Amazon, WME and Lerer Ventures, Deep Fork Capital, Metamorphic Ventures, Troy Carter, Scooter Braun, Gary Vaynerchuk, Geoff Judge, and Nicole Junkermann. Songza has sought to entice advertisers to sponsor playlists that would include a video and banner. Songza’s own lists can be tailored by activities, genres, moods, and decades and include “Boosting Your Energy,” “Working (no lyrics),” and “Going to a Festival.”
The companies didn’t disclose deal terms, but the New York Post said last month that Google had offered $15M. In any event, Songza cost a lot less than the $3B that Apple agreed in May to pay for Beats, which also offers human-curated playlists.