Google scoops up Songza and its modern version of the 80s mix tape

Google says it will eventually work Songza into Google Play and YouTube

Love a good mix tape? It seems Google does.

Music streaming service Songza announced today that it is being acquired by Google. Neither company provided financial details of the deal, although other reports, including the New York Times, put the figure at around $39 million.

"Today, we're thrilled to announce that we're becoming part of Google," the company, based in Long Island City, N.Y., wrote on its website. "We can't think of a better company to join in our quest to provide the perfect soundtrack for everything you do. No immediate changes to Songza are planned, other than making it faster, smarter, and even more fun to use."

Focused on users in North America, Songza says its playlists are created by music experts. The service recommends different playlists, based on what the user is doing, such as waking up, exercising , working in the office or unwinding. Music lists can be based on different bands or singers, along with genres, themes and eras. Playlists also are based on the day of the week and the time of day. The app is free but includes advertising and is available for Android and iPhones.

"They've built a great service which uses contextual expert-curated playlists to give you the right music at the right time," Google said in a blog post . "We aren't planning any immediate changes to Songza, so it will continue to work like usual for existing users."

Google said it will work Songza into Google Play and YouTube over the next several months.

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, said Songza provides a service that curates music, offering music mixes and different kinds of music depending on the user's mood and time of life.

It's the modern version of an 80s-style mix tape that can change itself depending on whether you're throwing a party or lazing by the pool.

"Google wants to be in the content and curating game," said Olds. "It all comes back to capturing user attention and keeping them on your service or site for as long as possible. It's not only an ad platform, but also a source of data as well. With Songza, users give the service clues as to their mood, activities, location, etc., to allow the service to pick songs that match up. This data, when coupled with Google's other data, could be valuable to advertisers."

The deal comes just over a month after Apple announced it would buy Beat Electronics, for $3 billion. That deal includes the Beats headphone and audio business, as well as its music streaming service.

This article, Google scoops up Songza and its modern version of the 80s mix tape, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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