Google Buying Songza to Enrich Digital Music Services

July 1 (Bloomberg) -- Global X Management CEO Bruno Del Ama, Graham Fisher's Joshua Rosner and Bloomberg's Julie Hyman comment on Google's purchase of startup Songza Media. They speak with Trish Regan on "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

Google Inc. (GOOG) is buying startup Songza Media Inc., bolstering its music services as it tries to draw users away from rival Apple Inc.

Google has no immediate plans to change the song service, which selects tunes for listeners based on a person’s activities and the time of day, the Web-search company said on its website. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Google said it will consider how Songza might be integrated into its Google Play music services and other properties, including video website YouTube.

“They’ve built a great service which uses contextual expert-curated playlists to give you the right music at the right time,” Google said.

Google is working to help its music services stand out amid competition from Apple (AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Some of those companies are themselves transforming their music offerings as more people gravitate to streaming songs via Pandora Media Inc. and Spotify Ltd. and away from purchasing downloads of albums or individual tunes. Apple in May said it would purchase Beats Electronics LLC for $3 billion, partly because of the streaming Beats Music business. Last month, Amazon introduced its own streaming music competitor, called Prime Music.

Google last year rolled out a music-streaming service and recently said it would add a similar feature to YouTube. The company also offers a locker that lets users store thousands of songs and that includes a feature for buying new songs.

Songza, based in New York, was founded in 2007, according to its Facebook Inc. page. Its investors include venture capital firms Lerer Ventures and Metamorphic Ventures. Songza’s executive team had sold an earlier music service, Amie Street, to Amazon in 2010. Songza displays and helps marketers target online advertising.

“No immediate changes to Songza are planned, other than making it faster, smarter, and even more fun to use,” the startup said on its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net Reed Stevenson

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