Free cloud-based music streaming site Songza has taken in some funding and gone mobile. Launching on ioS and Android, the free mobile apps lets users create personalized and sharable music collections in the cloud, aiding users in curations based on activity, mood, theme, or occasion.
Unlike other cloud-based music services like Spotify, Pandora, Google Music and iTunes, Songza’s maintained a simple profile and interface that comes with ready-made playlists, upwards of 70,000 created by experts and users. Songza skips the ads and remains free several years after the Chicago-based startup first debuted. You can create your own playlists on the site, but this function is missing from the mobile app, an unfortunate absence.
“The future of music will be driven by the convergence of expert and social curation”, Songza CEO and co-founder Elias Roman said.
The app does feature the Social Music Discovery which let users log in thru Facebook and see what their friends are listening to or recommending. Songza’s managed to maintain its adaptability after an acquisition by Amie St. and subsequent integration with the music discovery marketplace.
Songza also announced funding led by previous investors of AmieStreet.com, Deep Fork Capital and some “undisclosed strategic investors,” as well as Geoff Judge, co-founcer of 24/7 RealMedia, who will be joining Songza’s Board of Directors.
Songza started as one of the many projects Aza Raskin has conjured in the past few years, and he’s developing a Midas Touch for startups. After selling Songza Raskin joined Mozilla, but quickly moved on to his most recent venture, Massive Health. The stealthy startup got a hefty seed of funding amounting to $2.2 million from investors led by Felicis VC, Greylock Discovery Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Mohr Davidow Ventures and Charles River Ventures.
As for other cloud-based music services, Apple recently released iTunes 10.5 beta 8 and iWork for iOS beta 3 to developers, while Google released an iOS version of Google Music (more of a web app). Clear Channel is one of the many media companies looking to leverage the growing cloud music trend, re-launching the iHeartRadio app. It’s been downloaded a reported 34 million times since it resurfaced.
The latest Pandora-like service is EchoNest, having launched a streaming radio app called Echofi that lets users type names of artists then launches Spotify and play songs similar to what the user typed. Echofi creates an alternative to the usual Spotify playlist experience by creating a streaming radio that runs on its own and brings a sense of music discovery. The mashup leverages two important concepts leading the cloud-based music ecosystem, helping to build up this market around dominant platforms like Spotify.