In a move that’s not that surprising given Apple’s purchase of Beats, Google has purchased streaming music service Songza for an undisclosed price. Songza offers music curated for moods, events, times of day and more, using 50 music curators. There are also genre-based playlists, with their metal offerings at 28 or so playlists, one of them curated by Megadeth. According to Billboard, Google doesn’t plan on changing anything about Songza just yet. They’re keeping all of its employees and integrating its playlists into it’s Google Play Music All Access subscription service. It wouldn’t be that surprising to see it end up in part of its YouTube streaming service at some point once they launch it.
At the end of the day, this is a good move for everyone involved. While it’s great to have unlimited music to stream whenever you want, curation goes a long way, and intelligently-programmed playlists by people with backgrounds in music will turn many people on to songs and bands they haven’t heard before. At this point in time, Songza is a pretty small company, with their 5 million subscribers a fraction of the listenership of Pandora (70 million) and Spotify (40 million). That’ll likely change with their new ownership.
In other, and much more unsubstantiated, news, a thread on Reddit, not exactly the bastion of journalistic integrity, claims that streaming music service Grooveshark is in trouble. In a post, an unnamed Grooveshark employee claims that 10 people have been laid off since June, and despite the fact that revenue isn’t increasing, they’ve just gone on a hiring spree. The source also claims that the postiive reviews of the company on Glassdoor.com are fake. We’ll take it with a grain of salt, since it’s all anonymous people, but there’s someone else in the thread that backs up the claims in the initial post. However, Grooveshark has been sued by the major labels in the past over material being uploaded to the company not just by users, but by executives at the company. They’ve settled out of court with the majors, but as Vanity Fair states, they’re in “constant legal limbo,” so it’s a possibility there might be some financial troubles there.