July 04, 2014, 6:15 AM —
Earlier this week came the news that Google was buying Songza, an ad-supported streaming music service. Before I decided to start paying for a music subscription I was a user of Songza and I wrote about it here back in 2012 when I was pushing it as a better alternative to Spotify's then new ad-supported 'radio stations.'
Songza's hook is that it lets you pick a play list based on time of day and what you're doing (among other ways to find something to listen to). I liked the service but what it (and most other ad-supported) services didn't do is let you play a particular song or album. That's why I moved to subscription-based services. On the other hand, sometimes you want your music service to choose for you so you can focus on other things.
You can absolutely keep using Songza as usual (we aren't planning any immediate changes — other than making Songza faster, smarter, and even more fun to use).
Google said basically the same thing:
Exciting news today — we’re thrilled to welcome +Songza to Google. They’ve built a great service which uses contextual expert-curated playlists to give you the right music at the right time. We aren't planning any immediate changes to Songza, so it will continue to work like usual for existing users.
Good news for Songza fans, at least in the short term.
It's also good news for Google Music fans since Google's quote continues with this:
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.
I'm being a bit selfish I'll admit, but as a Google Music subscriber and a fan of Songza's playlists I can't wait to see the two integrated. That seems like a perfect match. The closest thing Google Music has to service-provided playlists are their "radio stations" (which are OK but not great) and lists generated based directly on user interaction, such as songs you've recently given a thumbs-up to. Earlier this year I tried out Beats Music for a while and enjoyed having curated playlists available, but Beats was more expensive than my Google Music sub and their web interface was pretty bad, so I went back to Google Music. Now I can't wait for Songza's playlists to be integrated with Google Music; I'll have both curated playlists and all the things I love about Google Music!
As for integration with YouTube, I'm a bit stumped and I'm looking for help from my readers. How do you think a service like Songza would integrate into YouTube? If you have any ideas please leave a comment.
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.