Google reportedly mulling Songza acquisition

Daniel Bader

June 6, 2014 8:29pm

Here’s a juicy rumour for your Friday afternoon. Google is reportedly mulling an acquisition of Songza, the curated music service that’s become wildly popular in Canada over the past two years.

With over two million regular Canadian users, the company opened its own offices in Toronto’s MaRS building, and has been quietly building a bevy of native advertisers from popular Canadian brands.

While the rumoured acquisition amount is a lowly $15 million, Songza does generate revenue, both from ads and its premium Club Songza subscription service, which does away with both video and audio ads. The company’s thousands of playlists are accessed from a homescreen “concierge” based on mood, weather or any number of other adjectives.

Google already has Play Music, itself containing thousands of playlists, but it’s possible that the company could use the Songza acquisition as a way to launch a free, advertising-based tier of the music service. Songza’s ability to showcase the right playlist at the right time has less to a frictionless, and highly-rewarding, user experience, so the acquisition makes a lot of sense.

Songza is available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10 and the web.

  • Jonah Emery

    What Google may be missing is the passion behind music. To have a great service you just can’t offer all the songs, you have to be invested and want to provide a great experience.

  • beyond

    while your at it Google, why not change your name to Gobble, suits you better

  • traceamar

    Interesting how the picture in the news article is of a Windows Phone… lol

  • Ryan Laker

    I wish Apple would scoop up Songza and integrate it. I use Songza all the time when I am running/biking or when I have friends over. The curated playlists are fantastic.

    That being said I am really liking Google music but the one thing it’s missing is curated playlists and acquiring Songza would solve that problem.

    • HalfBlackCanuck

      Isn’t that why Apple bought Beats (the way it selects playlists and such)?

    • Ryan Laker

      That’s what I am hoping.

  • purdy44

    I really like my All Access subscription, but what would make me LOVE the service is if it had curated playlists.

  • Columbo

    Google might get Songza (which is used by almost everyone I know) for $15 million, Apple buys Beats (which is used by almost no one I know) for $3 billion. LOL Apple.

    • alphs22

      Because the world revolves around people you know.

      Beats generated $1.5B in revenue last year. How much did Songza pull in?

    • jeremynsl

      I believe I read that Beats Music (the streaming area of their business) was only valued at $200 million. Seems like that was valued relatively fairly. What I can’t really fathom is why Apple paid an additional $3B for their headphone business?

    • alphs22

      Well since they were a private company we don’t have access to their balance sheets. However their revenue for 2013 was estimated at $1.5B, for a company of only 700 employees.

      I’m guessing Apple would make back its money in a few years, while gaining the team behind Beats Music and get the cool factor (Dre) on their side. Meanwhile Dre and Iovine cash out nicely.

  • NLer in Ottawa

    No! I use all things Google, but they don’t need to own everything. I hate that as soon as something becomes popular, Google either buys them or copies and buries them. Dammit.

    • HalfBlackCanuck

      I agree with this. It’s a giant arms race between Apple, Google and Microsoft to keep nice software or technology out of the others hands as much as possible. Every other day someone has bought a search engine or a mapping software and now all of these music tools…

    • 5Gs

      Can’t blame them. If some one is willing to be sold with the price they pay. It’s their choice

    • MisterChew

      Well, you can’t blame these giant corporations entirely. No one is pointing a gun at these smaller business ventures and forcing them to sell. Fact is they want to be bought up, so they can use the money for another start-up.

  • alphs22

    $15M sounds like a bargain for a popular app.

  • Acitta

    I tried Songza and hated it. I discovered Deezer, and love it. Google Music was too late since i was already subscribed to Deezer.

  • HelloCDN

    That seems to be a bit low… Yahoo paid over $30 million for an app that hasn’t made a single dollar.