Google counters Apple's Beats buy with acquisition of music streaming service Songza

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2014
Continuing its recent spree of acquisitions, Google on Tuesday announced it has purchased curated music streaming service Songza for an undisclosed sum.




The deal was confirmed by both Google and Songza, with the music streaming service saying its 40-member team will be assimilated by the search giant in what could be a response to Apple's recent Beats buy.

According to a post on Songza's website, not immediate changes to the platform are planned, though The Wall Street Journal reports Google is investigating incorporation of the firm's tech into Google Play All Access Music and the forthcoming YouTube music streaming service.

Songza is best known for its "Music Concierge" curated song picker, which works off of time rather than song search-based playlists. With the buy, Google appears to be countering Apple's acquisition of Beats, which won the company curated music streamer Beats Music. Curation seems to be the next big thing for Internet radio.

With a user base of 5.5 million people, the free Songza is one of the smaller streaming services in the market, though Apple's own for-pay Beats Music was reported to have 250,000 subscribers after three months of operation. The number was up from an estimated subscriber base of 115,000 as of March.

Songza is far behind the 40 million users of Apple's own iTunes Radio, Spotify's 40 million subscribers and Pandora's huge 70 million users.

Apple bolstered its streaming offerings when it purchased Beats Music, as well as Beats Electronics, for $3 billion in May. At the time, Apple was estimated to have spent $500 million for Beats' streaming product, while the rest went to the firm's hardware arm, which is responsible for the popular Beats by Dre headphone lineup.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    First of all, LOL@Google for so pathetically following in Apple's footsteps.

     

    I'd never heard of Songza before, but I find it funny that even they have a far greater user base than Beats Streaming.

     

    And I still remain skeptical and suspicious towards the whole Beats deal, but it will take time to see how that whole scenario plays out.

  • Reply 2 of 34
    jakeu26jakeu26 Posts: 44member
    Well shoot. I quite liked Songza. No more, I suppose.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,908member

    They will become part of the Borg Collective 

     

    Quote:


    The deal was confirmed by both Google and Songza, with the music streaming service saying its 40-member team will be assimilated by the search giant 


  • Reply 4 of 34
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    apple ][ wrote: »
    First of all, LOL@Google for so pathetically following in Apple's footsteps.

    I'd never heard of Songza before, but I find it funny that even they have a far greater user base than Beats Streaming.

    And I still remain skeptical and suspicious towards the whole Beats deal, but it will take time to see how that whole scenario plays out.
    I'll be they didn't spend $3B on it. Of course crappy headphones are expensive...
  • Reply 5 of 34
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    "Undisclosed sum" To the tune of...?


    Also, "40-member team will be assimilated by the search giant"

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/45225/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

    Edit: pipped by [B]Maestro64[/B]
  • Reply 6 of 34
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    I love Wikipedia:

    Users can find playlists not just based on artists, songs, or genres, but also based on themes, interests, and eras, such as "[B]songs in Apple Commercials[/B]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songza
  • Reply 7 of 34
    mytdavemytdave Posts: 447member
    Oh, oh. Me too!!
  • Reply 8 of 34
    irelandireland Posts: 17,737member
    Beats had 500 employees.
  • Reply 9 of 34
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    Lol...fail. They don't want to disclose because then DED would be able to do an article about how it was a massively expensive boondoggle.
  • Reply 10 of 34
    disturbiadisturbia Posts: 563member

    Songza App and Bookmark ... DELETED! No more ...

    .

    .

    .

    On similar note, as long as there are idiots like this, google is going to live!

     

  • Reply 11 of 34
    Per Reuters:

    "... a report in the New York Post earlier this month citing unnamed sources said Google had offered to buy the company (Songza) for $15 million."
  • Reply 12 of 34
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,772member
    At least the Songza logo is already Googlefied.
  • Reply 13 of 34
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,123member
    rogifan wrote: »
    I'll be they didn't spend $3B on it. Of course crappy headphones are expensive...
    There's a difference in buying a company that loses money with 5 million mooching non paying customers.
    Compared to a company bringing in 1.5 billion a year with hardware sales and making more money off 250,000 subscribers than songza makes on 5 million with only 3 months of sales. Add to that the talent, gaining the urban marketing savy of Dr. Dre, the man who made the original iTunes deals happen with the record companies. Factor in Apple's 40 million iTunes Radio users.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    rogifan wrote: »
    apple ][ wrote: »
    First of all, LOL@Google for so pathetically following in Apple's footsteps.

    I'd never heard of Songza before, but I find it funny that even they have a far greater user base than Beats Streaming.

    And I still remain skeptical and suspicious towards the whole Beats deal, but it will take time to see how that whole scenario plays out.
    I'll be they didn't spend $3B on it. Of course crappy headphones are expensive...
    Crappy headphones are popular and profitable. Beats music subscribers are paid and Songzas are free users active in the past (whatever time frame looks best). Google uses 60 days a lot, I bet Songza is using at least 90.
  • Reply 15 of 34
    constable odoconstable odo Posts: 1,041member

    I've used the Songza website occasionally and it's very simple to use to get some decent streaming music.  I mainly use it to listen to old Motown and 60's groups which I pretty much grew up on and the selection is decent, although not as good as iTunes or Spotify.  It's understandable Google would snap up something like this.  They'll just take the interface and those employees who already have streaming music experience and at least they won't get totally embarrassed.  There's no point in reinventing the wheel.  For Google, acquiring Songza is simply a shortcut so it doesn't fall behind.  Google has the money, so why not spend it.  $15 million peanuts to Google to get an instant streaming service.  When rival companies do something, it's almost guaranteed others will follow even if they don't have a clear strategy.  Everything Apple does, Google usually tries to follow.  That's why I don't understand why Apple doesn't acquire a search engine and send Google a clear message about the perils of being a constant copycat.

  • Reply 16 of 34
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    rogifan wrote: »
    I'll be they didn't spend $3B on it. Of course crappy headphones are expensive...

    Cheapest of miserable cheap shots.

    Not for your edification, which would be probably be wasted, but here's an interesting Beats headphone sighting, on none other than Manuel Galbán, the great Cuban all-round musician, in a magnificent video made before his death in 2011. I think the DVD/CD package was just released recently. One of the best music videos ever. Some classy Cubans here.

    http://playingforchange.com/episodes/guantanamera/
  • Reply 17 of 34
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    I'll be they didn't spend $3B on it. Of course crappy headphones are expensive...

     

    you mean those billion-dollar headphones turning a serious profit? yeah. once again, for those lacking in imagination:

     

    Quote:


    I don't get why you think it is crazy.

     

    Beats makes the most popular line of consumer headphones. Apple makes the most popular line of consumer music players. The 2 products actually plug together to work. *The 2 company's products actually plug together to work.*

     

    Beats is run by one of the most successful music producers in history (Jimmy Iovine) and one of the most successful music artists in history (Andre Young aka Dr. Dre.) Apple is a musical instrument maker who makes the most popular professional music production computer (Mac,) the most popular professional music production software (Logic) as well as the most popular consumer music production computers (iPad/iPhone) and the most popular consumer music production software (GarageBand) as well as the most popular music playback hardware (iPod) and the most popular music playback software (iTunes.) It is very likely that at some point, both Iovine and Young worked on a music project that was made entirely with Apple products, and then they listened to that project entirely with Apple products. That is a common thing to happen in music studios, which are filled with Macs, iPads, iPhones, iPods, Logic, GarageBand, and iTunes. And Beats headphones.

     

    Beats has the music subscription services with the largest selection of music (Beats Music,) and Apple has the music download service with the largest selection of music (iTunes Store.) Put them together and you can offer the consumer a subscription listening service from which they can collect and keep their favorite tracks for a lifetime with 1 tap, as they listen.

     

    The HD music era is just beginning. We will soon move from listening to CD era 16/44 audio files to listening to HD era 24/96 audio files, which is the kind of digital music you find in a music studio (where Iovine and Young have spent many years working.) Enabling the HD era is part of Beats' mission, and Jimmy Iovine has been talking about HD audio and promoting it within the music and technology industries for more than 5 years now. He has been asking which technology company will lead on this for more than 5 years now. Apple's iTunes Music Store has also been promoting the oncoming HD music era for years now, collecting HD music masters under their Mastered for iTunes program. Iovine promoting HD audio to other music producers and Young promoting HD audio to other artists will only make Mastered for iTunes and HD music happen faster. Apple wants it to happen fast because all the subscription services that are cutting into iTunes Music Store sales are streaming 16/44 audio and as streaming services, they don't want to move to the much larger 24/96 files. The 24/96 files give you a reason to download your favorite songs again, because the downloads will once again be too big to stream. HD audio gives iTunes downloads a second life. So by buying Beats, Apple has essentially answered Iovine's question of which technology company will lead on HD audio by saying, ìIt will be Apple, and you will be heading it up from within Apple.î

     

    HD music also needs hardware support. Macs have had built-in HD audio for many years, and iOS devices will either get built-in support for HD or support for HD audio accessories that plug onto Lightning. For example, a set of Apple Beats headphones with a 24/96 decoder built into them and a Lighting plug on the end of the cable. That would be the perfect way to enable all the existing Lightning-compatible devices (iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad mini, the latest iPod nano, and iPhone 5 or later) to playback HD music.

     

    Further, the ìBeatsî brand is compatible with Apple's marketing efforts. Same as when Apple bought the famous Logic music production software and turned it into Apple Logic, they can turn the Beats products into Apple Beats.

     

    So rather than being hard pressed to see a reason why the Apple/Beats deal makes sense, it is actually hard to find a way it does not make sense. The founders are similar, the current hardware products plug together, the music production connections are the same, the music retailing services complement each other, the future HD products complement each other, and the branding is even complimentary.

    ce as Tim Cook, because he is: human race.

     

    http://www.loopinsight.com/2014/05/28/apple-acquires-beats-for-3-billion/



  • Reply 18 of 34
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    Just another app to delate from my applications. That's okay, Songza was getting rather stale anyway with no new music added for awhile (at least in the stations I listened to.)
  • Reply 19 of 34
    I've used the Songza website occasionally and it's very simple to use to get some decent streaming music.  I mainly use it to listen to old Motown and 60's groups which I pretty much grew up on and the selection is decent, although not as good as iTunes or Spotify.  It's understandable Google would snap up something like this.  They'll just take the interface and those employees who already have streaming music experience and at least they won't get totally embarrassed.  There's no point in reinventing the wheel.  For Google, acquiring Songza is simply a shortcut so it doesn't fall behind.  Google has the money, so why not spend it.  $15 million peanuts to Google to get an instant streaming service.  When rival companies do something, it's almost guaranteed others will follow even if they don't have a clear strategy.  Everything Apple does, Google usually tries to follow.  That's why I don't understand why Apple doesn't acquire a search engine and send Google a clear message about the perils of being a constant copycat.
    Google has their own on demand streaming service they had it for over a year now. Its called google music all access. And wouldn't that make apples purchase of beats copying google
  • Reply 20 of 34
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    nolamacguy wrote: »
    you mean those billion-dollar headphones turning a serious profit? yeah. once again, for those lacking in imagination:

    Interesting post. Thanks.
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