Business News Digital

Google bid for 8tracks before Songza

By | Published on Wednesday 18 June 2014


Obviously Google management don’t spend every waking hour of the day screwing over indie artists, though in the occasional bit of downtime they mainly busy themselves trying to buy up streaming services better than their own Google Play Access Some Music Why Don’t You All set up.

Which is to say, following the recent rumours that Google is trying to buy US-based curation heavy streaming music platform Songza, Billboard has now reported that prior to opening that particular line of bidding, the web giant tried to buy 8tracks. Songza and 8tracks operate in a very similar domain in terms of both service and target market, though what figures are available suggest that the latter actually has more users.

Billboard’s source says that Google told 8tracks that it wanted the firm’s people as much as its technology, playlists and userbase, though the team there may have been suspicious, given big tech firms have a habit of buying in start-ups, stripping out a bit of technology, and then shutting down the rest of the company. Either way, 8tracks reportedly declined to do the deal.

Even if Google did manage to acquire a Songza or an 8tracks, it would have problems expanding such services beyond the US, because they both rely on a SoundExchange licence that isn’t available outside America (even if some services of this kind don’t currently lock non-Americans out). Which would likely mean negotiating label deals in at least some territories. Perhaps this time they’ll threaten to remove the indies from Google search results if they don’t sign up.