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Revamp of Google streaming service incorporates Songza curation

By | Published on Wednesday 22 October 2014

Songza

Google is stepping up the curated playlist functionality within its streaming platform this week, in a move that is seemingly the first integration of curation expertise from interactive radio service Songza, which the web firm bought back in July.

Most streaming services are still primarily competing on the “our discovery services are better than their discovery services” line, the assumption being that for more mainstream consumers being presented with thirty million tracks and the immediate demand of “choose” is actually a bit of a turn off.

By that philosophy, the interactive radio services like Songza, which offer less functionality (and are therefore cheaper to licence), arguably have an advantage as streaming hits the mainstream. The fully on-demand services (which are more expensive to licence), are therefore sticking something more like interactive radio on the front-end of their players, hoping to gain competitive advantage because, once mainstream consumers are on the inside, Spotify-type platforms can offer much more flexibility to the user.

And indeed, while Google’s acquisition of Songza was designed to help it develop a decent interactive radio style front end, the web-giant’s streaming set-up is then able to offer more functionality than the service it acquired, such as allowing users to edit playlists, and download tracks for offline listening.

The new curated listening service will go live on the Google streaming service in the US and Canada this week, while the home page of the platform will be revamped worldwide.



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