In the music space, only Songza embraces the human curation experience. Spotify, Pandora and the other music sites are all dependent on algorithms.
But Songza uses data and humans. Relying on time of day, location, weather, activity and more to help their DJ’s program their music. As Songza investor at Metamorphic Ventures David Hirsch explained to CNBC: “The future isn’t about people finding things, it’s about things finding people.” This is no small statement from the former Googler turned VC; “I really think that what Songza has done has brought context to content, which I believe is the next wave of the web. It’s based on situation and context.”
Songza uses data to curate playlists by music experts. (DJs, Rolling Stone writers, etc.). Songza’s been around since 2007 – but launched its concierge feature – human curation – just 2 years ago in 2012.
Google’s dipping their toe into human curation could move beyond music, with Google telling users that Songza will remain operational but that Songza’s expertise will be used with Google Play Music and YouTube.
David Hirsch explains “we think that that Songza brings context and applies to Google Now personalization. It applies to Google Play. It’s really about discovery. How do we discover the right content, the right commerce, the right activity based on your human situation?” And from Google’s perspective, that seems about right; “Songza has built a great service which uses contextual expert-curated playlists to give you the right music at the right time.” This comes just days after Apple’s purchase of Beats Music – and Tim Cook credits Beat’s music curation as being core to the purchase.
So with two deals, and more on the way – human curation is on the rise, says Hirsch; “You know, in this world of drones and programmatic and virtual reality APIs, what the world has forgotten is about people. The only API that matters is the human API.”
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