Google plunked down $39 million for the music-streaming site Songza on Tuesday, an acquisition that delighted many an industry insider. But among industry, er, outsiders, reaction was sometimes more … confused, as in: “Wow, yet another music start-up whose name is a made-up word beginning in ‘s’! I wonder how this differs from the other hundred thousand on the Internet.”
Fear not, industry outsiders: We have compiled this quick-and-dirty guide to not only Songza, Spotify and Slacker, but 10 other music-streaming sites that sound buzzy these days. A couple quick caveats here: We’ve intentionally left out the giants like iTunes’s streaming service and Google Play’s All Access. (Presumably you know how those work already.) We have also — with the exception of Deezer, which is expected to launch stateside this year — not included any services that aren’t currently available in the U.S.
Finally, we have chosen not to evaluate the services along conventional lines, like “how many songs do they have” (millions, in every case) or “is it available on the Galaxy Nexus iPhone 8?” (Almost all are available on iPhone and Android, at the very least.) In the grand scheme of things, those details are irrelevant. We just want to know whether Songza’s cool* and if you have to pay money for it.
It is, and you don’t. Neat!
* Cool, in this case (and all cases), is a totally subjective evaluation of whether or not the object in question seems zeitgeisty these days. Does it have a hip celebrity endorsement? Was it recently acquired for millions of dollars? You get the idea.