- Think of Songza as curated, hand-picked Internet radio
- Songza doesn't impose any limitations on how much music you can listen to
- App focuses on connecting users with curated or peer-created mix tapes
Streaming music service Songza launched apps for Android and iOS on Tuesday that are designed to make it easy for music fans to find and share digital playlists for practically any occasion.
Think of Songza as curated, hand-picked Internet radio. Like Pandora, Songza is not a stream-on-demand service (meaning, you can't request to play a certain track or album).
Unlike Pandora, Songza doesn't impose any limitations on how much music you can listen to and it doesn't serve any audio advertisements. Additionally, Songza doesn't focus on creating artist based radio stations -- although you can do that -- instead, it focuses on connecting users with curated or peer-created mix tapes.
These playlists are organized around activities (like "Cocktail Party" or "Coding"), genres ("'70s NYC Punk" or "Math Rock"), Moods and even Culture. For instance, there is a whole playlist category dedicated to Cover Songs, featuring playlists like "More Popular Than the Original" and "Covering Cash." The playlists are designed to capture a certain mood, event or activity.
Using the free Songza mobile app for iPhone [iTunes link] and Android [Android Market link], users can search and browse through Songza's expertly curated playlists, save their favorites to their phone and share what they are listening to with friends on Facebook and Twitter.
The Songza team's previous venture, Amie Street, was acquired by Amazon.com last fall. Songza just closed a financing round led by the same investors that were previously involved in Amie Street. The company clearly has big plans for enhancing its social offerings by allowing users to share their playlists or favorites via social networks.
As it stands, Songza sees itself as a "music concierge" and a better, smarter way of handling social music discovery.
After using the iPhone app over the last 24 hours, we agree. Without a doubt, Songza has the smartest, most well thought out collection of playlists of any of the subscription music services. What we really appreciate is that it is clear that a lot of vetting has gone into creating the officially sanctioned lists.
If your friends are on Songza, you can also use the app to follow the playlists they share or like and vice versa.
The one downside to Songza and its mobile app is that right now, users can only create playlists at the Songza.com website. Moreover, Songza's licensing restrictions prevent users from listening to the playlists they create themselves.
Your friends can listen to your custom mix of ultimate Fall in New York City tunes, but you, the creator can't. Songza's co-founder and CEO Elias Roman told us that the company is looking at either partnering with existing on-demand subscription services such as Spotify or working out its own on-demand licensing agreement so that users can listen to their own selections.
If Songza can nail that last loop and provide users who are willing to pay with on-demand access to their own playlists, we could easily see Songza taking off in a huge way.
Still, even with the self-playlist limitations, Songza for iPhone and Android is one of the most promising mobile music apps we've seen all year.