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Google Play Music Now Integrates Songza
Users of the Google Play All Access subscription service will see a new feature on Tuesday. Activity-based radio stations are the first signs of Google Play's integration of Songza, the Internet radio service Google acquired in July.
The activity-based station recommendations became available Tuesday for subscribers in the U.S. and Canada for Android and iOS apps as well as the web product, according to a Google blog post written by Google Play Music product managers Brandon Bilinski and Elias Roman, the former chief executive of Songza. A redesigned “Listen Now” page, basically the home page of Google Play Music is available in all 45 countries where Google Play Music is available, and is also available for for Android, iOS and the web.
Songza has a unique take on Internet radio. Its Music Concierge feature, launched in March of 2012, allows users to select music based on time of day and activity. So, for example, activity-based categories for Tuesday morning music could include "Working to a Beat," a varied collection of dance and beat-driven playlists, and "Keeping Calm & Mellow," a group of playlists ranging from nature sounds to soft pop hits. This activity-based approach to radio has since been copied by iHeartRadio and Slacker and employed by Beats Music.
Google has been late coming up with a strong Internet radio offering. Competing on-demand services have bolstered their radio products. Spotify, which also offers activity-based playlists, has offered a free mobile radio service since June of 2012. Beats Music included a variation on Songza's Music Concierge, called the Sentence, when it launched in January. Rdio debuted free, ad-supported Internet radio in September.
Because Google Play Music is an on-demand, all-you-can-eat service, the Music Concierge feature goes beyond what can be offered by a non-interactive service like Songza. Google Play Music users are able to download the music stations to listen when offline, see what song is up next, and edit playlists. Users can also start a new station based on any song in the mix.