Google in talks to buy music streaming company Songza – New York Post

Larry Page is moving fast to build his search giant’s street cred in the rapidly growing music streaming business.

Page’s Google is in talks to acquire the 6-year-old Songza, a Long Island City-based music curation and streaming service with 5.5 million active users, two sources told The Post.

Music curation — how a subscribers’ songs are chosen — is the hottest, most competitive front in the music streaming wars.

Songza competes with Pandora, with its 77 million active users, and Spotify, which recently hit 10 million active users.

“Google is offering them around $15 million, the question is, does Songza take it?” said one source close to the conversations.

The offer seems puny when placed next to Spotify, which has a $4 billion valuation, and Pandora, which has a market cap of $5 billion, sources noted.

That Google was on the prowl for a streaming service, perhaps one with a well-known or catchy brand name, was reported exclusive by The Post on June 4. The search firm needs help defining its offerings in the space, experts said, pointing to Google Play Music All Access, which costs $9.99 per month, as one example of Page’s weak line-up.

While some streaming companies curate playlists by, perhaps, taking a subscriber’s choice of an artist, like Adele, and offering up songs that are similar to the singer’s style, Songza creates playlists that take into account what people are doing while they’re listening to music.

The home page has suggestions for other states of being, including “working in an office” or “boosting your energy.”

Songza’s daily offering even suggests music to listen to while in the bathroom. If you need to know, Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and Salt n’ Pepa’s “Push It” are top choices to listen to when in the loo, according to Songza’s website.

The free service has been dabbling with advertising of late, creating such co-branded playlists as “Sleep Soundly with Febreze.”

Songza was the first major streaming service to launch in Canada and garnered a million downloads within three months of launching in 2012.

Songza also won a $4.7 million investment round from Amazon and Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun.

Google’s moves come on the heels of Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, which houses an audio/headset company as well as a nascent streaming music service called Beats Music.

Beats Music separated itself from the pack by hiring music industry experts to curate its playlists.

Songza CEO Elias Roman said he couldn’t comment. Google declined comment.


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