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Google buys music streaming service Songza

By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc has acquired streaming music service Songza, the Internet search company's latest move to play a bigger role in the fast-growing online music business.

Google said on Tuesday it would explore ways to incorporate aspects of Songza into its existing streaming music service over the coming months. For now the four-year-old Songza service, which creates "expert-curated" music playlists intended to match users' activities and tastes, will remain unchanged for existing users.

Google did not provide financial terms of the deal, though a report in the New York Post earlier this month citing unnamed sources said Google had offered to buy the company for $15 million.

The deal comes one month after Apple Inc acquired Beats for $3 billion. Apple's purchase of Beats, which also touted its expertise curating music playlists, was viewed as an effort to jump-start Apple's position in the fastest-growing segment of the music market.

Sales of digital music downloads have declined in recent months, while streaming services such as Pandora Media Inc and Spotify have become increasingly popular with consumers.

Google launched a $9.99-per-month Play All Access subscription music service in 2013, and the company said last month its YouTube video website was preparing to launch a paid streaming service.

Google would not say how many employees Songza had but it said the company would continue to work from its base in New York.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Tom Brown)

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