Songza was a pretty unique little streaming service while it lasted. Although it never really garnered the subscriber-base that it needed to survive independently, it did develop a passionate group of followers who loved Songza’s ad-supported free streaming and extensive listing of hand-crafted playlists. More importantly, what caught the eye of Google was Songza’s “Concierge” feature, which anticipated the kind of music you may want to listen to depending on the time of day, location, and mood.
By the end of January, Songza will be shutting down permanently, but there is good news for Songza fans: all of the streaming service’s features have been fully integrated into Google Play Music.
Podcasts are finally coming to Google Play Music
Surprise biology lesson! Okay, so you may remember being taught that the mitochondrion is the powerhouse of the cell, right? It’s a tiny organelle that produces most of the energy that eukaryotic cells need to survive. Well, did you know that scientists believe that billions of years ago, mitochondria were their own separate bacteria? After being absorbed by the host cell, the plucky little organism set up shop and just kept doing its thing to the benefit of both the cell and itself. 2 billion years later, mitochondria are a crucial part of cellular anatomy.
What we’re seeing with Google Play Music and Songza is a pretty close parallel. Songza wasn’t ever robust enough to survive on its own, and Google Play Music lacked a certain umph to make it truly competitive with Spotify. Now, with Songza’s full suite of features serving as its powerhouse, maybe Google Play Music will start getting the subscribers they need.
Google buys Songza to improve curation on Play Music and YouTube
Starting today, Songza users will be receiving a notification alerting them that the end is nigh. However, they will also be presented with a quick-and-easy walkover process that will convert their Songza account over to Google Play Music more or less completely. All of your playlists, all of your radio stations, every song you thumbs-upped or thumbs-downed; all of it will make the transition safely. Google Play Music is telling Spotify users that they’ll be able to continue using the features that they love without ever missing a beat.
This transition comes on the tail of Google Play Music finally polishing off a free-to-listen model that mimics Songza’s service. Google hopes that more and more users will eventually upgrade to Google Play Music All Access, the $9.99/mo premium version of the service that includes YouTube Red as part of the package.
Are you a Songza user? How do you feel about this? Let us know in the comments!