Google has acquired Songza for a financial figure undisclosed to the public. Launched in 2010, the music streaming app is designed to curate playlists for a listener according to their mood. Unlike other competitors, Songza doesn’t use algorithms, they employ over 50 employees to create playlists for specific settings including weather, special activities, and moods. Google plans to bring on all of Songza’s current staff and eventually incorporate the service into Google’s “Google Play Music” and the new subscription based Youtube Music streaming service. Early investors in the company were music executives Scooter Braun and Troy Carter who manage the careers of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.
Neilson Soundscan has released a mid year report on physical sales, downloads, and streams in the US for the first half of 2014. The evolution of the music industry towards streaming and away from physical sales and downloads is apparent according to their report. Total album sales 227 million and digital album sales 113.2 million are down from last year’s 235 million and 15.9 million whereas “streamed equivalent albums” are up to 46.9 million from last years 24.8 million. Universal Music Group remains the leading in market share at 38.1% with Sony (27.9%) and Warner (18.8%) behind. The most streamed song is Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” with a combined 188.2 million streams.
Universal Music Publishing Group will be launching a new public repertoire in an effort to allow their catalog to be more easily accessible to potential licensees. Similar to performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI, UMPG will post their entire catalog of songs online and include data such as songwriters, country of origin and other relevant information.