Well, Google finally arrived to the party — even though they are kind of late. The search giant made a pretty buzzy acquisition on Tuesday that officially launched them into the streaming game.
Yup, Songza — a streaming service that differentiates itself by offering a ton of mood-oriented playlists — now belongs to Google, according to Forbes. Google reportedly shelled out $15 million for the service and doesn’t plan to change much on the user side. Still, the company aims to “bring what you love about Songza to Google Play Music,” Forbes reports, which means that it will likely be rolled into Google’s music store and app and perhaps YouTube’s upcoming subscription service.
The streaming landscape, lately, has seen some pretty tall trees taking root among the shrubbery. Apple acquired Beats Electronics and its streaming service in May. Amazon launched its own music streaming service, Prime Music last month. And now Google has entered the fray, adding to the growing array of services all competing for music lovers’ dollars and attention.
So how will Google fare in that teeming marketplace of services? “The music streaming space is quite crowded, but that hasn’t translated into profitability for any of them yet,” Andrew Flanagan of Billboard told MTV News. “And Deezer is on its way!” The massively popular French music service is slated to hit U.S. shores this year.
Clyde Smith of Hypebot sees the deal as a profitable way out of an increasingly crowded market for the acquired service. “I think it’s great that Songza found an exit,” he said. “If the deal was right, which I can’t really evaluate, then this is a success that few will achieve.”
Mashable’s Christina Warren, however, focuses on the musicians. “The song remains the same,” she told MTV News. “I think for end-users it means that their options are now going to be more commoditized around library and more distinguished between stuff like contextual playlists (a la Songza). Musicians will still get screwed.”
YouTube’s upcoming music subscription service is just the latest of its ilk to be plagued by artist complaints. Indie labels are accusing the video-sharing site of forcing them into unfavorable deals or else face eradication from the service, a claim that YouTube denies.