Google Merges Songza Into Subscription Music-Streaming Service

Google is folding music-discovery features from Songza, the startup it acquired this summer, into the Google Play Music subscription service.

Google Play Music users now will be prompted to pick a radio station based on mood, activity or time of day — a “concierge” music feature that anticipates what they’re doing at any given time.

The feature is designed to compete with other streaming-music services like Spotify, Pandora and Apple’s iTunes Radio, which is expected to incorporate the Beats Music service in the coming months. Google Play Music, priced at $9.99 per month, provides on-demand access to more than 30 million songs.

“You can download these music stations to listen when you’re offline, see what song is up next, and add, remove or re-order them to suit your taste,” Google Play Music product managers Brandon Bilinski and Elias Roman wrote in a blog post. “Or you can start a new station based on any song in the mix. You can also search for a particular station you want or activity you want to find music for.”

The new activity-based station recommendations are available starting Tuesday for subscribers in the U.S. and Canada (on Android and iOS apps and the web). A redesigned “Listen Now” page is available in all 45 countries where Google Play Music is available.

Separately, Google’s YouTube has been assembling a music-subscription service, which would be coupled with Google Play Music. But departures of key execs, including YouTube product manager for music Chris LaRosa, have raised doubts about the timing of the launch.

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