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This article was published on March 5, 2012

Spotify, we need a break. I’m falling for Songza

Spotify, we need a break. I’m falling for Songza
Harrison Weber
Story by

Harrison Weber

Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.

I’m a huge fan of Spotify. It somehow seems so long ago that the service swooped in and replaced my iTunes altogether with cheap streaming of almost every artist I could ever hope listen to (except the Beatles).

But what made me love Spotify now makes me hesitant to open it. I’m a die-hard music fan, and used to spend hours a day searching for new bands to listen to. But now that I don’t have all this free time, I just cycle through my favorites. Services like Spotify just have too many options when you need to jump into work mode and want great songs instantly. This is why I’m all over Songza.

Songza has already been around since 2008, and now the startup is launching Music Concierge, a new feature that makes it easier than ever for busy people to find the right music, at the right time, right away. It maps playlists to listeners based on the time of day, day of the week, device, situation and any past preferences.

If you’re a first-time Songza user and it’s early Monday morning, Songza may start by asking if you’re still waking up, taking the day off, trying to stay focused and motivated, at the office with headphones on or at home with your young kids. Say you pick ‘Still Waking Up’. Then Songza may ask you to pick a genre to help set the right vibe. Once you pick, Songza gives you 3 or less perfect playlists to help clear the sleep from your eyes.

Just as the team describes it: It’s simple, intuitive and oh so fast. Plus, the playlists Songza features are created by experts in the industry (not algorithms), so the odds are you’ll never end up with dribble.

Songza on curation:

Curation is a growing trend on the web and can be summed up pretty simply: the internet is big and we’re busy, so we need help being pointed in the right direction.

Music, despite its major presence in all of our digital lives, hasn’t really benefited from the curation trend.

To take a step back, the internet turned music into a volume game; with infinite ‘shelf’ space, other online music services opted to compete for how many songs and artists they could carry. Now, with tens of millions of songs and artists a mouse click away, the big unanswered question has become “What should I actually listen to right now”? The majority of people who aren’t spending hours a day scouring blogs for hot new music find themselves listening to the same old music (whether it’s a station on Pandora or a playlist on Spotify) because they don’t know where to start finding new tunes. They suffer from Stale iPod Syndrome.

As our libraries grow larger than ever before with streaming services, will choice lead us to miss out on all the great music that brought us there?

Music Concierge is one take on how to resolve this new problem, bringing us great songs immediately that are tailored to our needs, with human-built playlists. It just launched today, so give it a spin and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

➤  Music Concierge by Songza (Sorry, this is US only. Songza shares the same licensing as Pandora)