Google Acquiring Startup Songza in Music Battle Against Apple

New-Wave Music Wars Continue to Gather Steam

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Google Inc. 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 company said on its website. Songza also displays and helps marketers target online advertising.

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, Amazon and Microsoft. Some of those companies are themselves transforming their music offerings as more people gravitate to streaming songs via Pandora Media and Spotify and away from purchasing downloads of albums or individual tunes.

Apple in May said it would purchase Beats Electronics 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 investors include venture capital firms Lerer Ventures and Metamorphic Ventures. Its executive team sold an earlier music service, Amie Street, to Amazon in 2010.

"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.

~ Bloomberg News ~

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