The once much-hyped-then-forgotten Songza service has re-emerged as a customizable Internet radio service.
Much like Pandora, Songza aims to let users create personalized radio stations by seeding a song and then voting up or down on the playlist that results. It uses a team of “music curators” to help determine these playlists and is very vocal about not using algorithmic data like other playlist generators (it’s press release is titled “Look Ma, No Algorithms).
(Update: Its curators are actually its users, who help fine-tune recommendations through the voting process, which the system then remembers and applies to future recommendations.)
The company was purchased in 2008 by Amie Street, the variable pricing digital download service. It previously operated as a search engine and on-demand streaming service that relied on YouTube APIs to stream music, but stripped out the audio. That caused some problems after YouTube amended its technology to stop services from doing that. It also for a time used APIs provided by SeeqPod before industry lawsuits shut that company down.
Switching to a customized, Internet radio model allows Songza to pay compulsory webcaster royalties rather than negotiate for on-demand licenses.
Here’s the full release below:
Songza.com released today the simplest way for people to create their own radio stations, for free.
The new Songza.com gives users the ability to collaborate with friends, family, co-workers or even strangers to create the perfect shared station for any occasion, with a library of over 8,000,000 songs to choose from.
“Much of the joy we get from music comes from how it connects us to the people around us,” said Elias Roman, CEO of Songza. “Songza is unique in making it easy for people to connect using shared, collaborative radio stations. We believe this makes for a far more social and relevant experience than radio based on 'experts' or algorithms analyzing tone and timbre.”