Morning Media Newsfeed: Google Buys Songza | MSNBC Holds Second Place

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Google in Deal for Songza, A Music Playlist Service (NYT)
In a sign of growing consolidation in the digital music business, Google announced on Tuesday that it had bought Songza, a three-year-old app that competes with Pandora and others in making customized playlists of recommended songs. Re/code The New York Post reported in June that the deal could be worth $15 million. Unlike some acquired startups, Songza won’t be shutting down. Its team will be joining Google in New York and helping with contextual recommendation features for Google Play and possibly YouTube down the line. GigaOM Songza offers custom curated playlists based on categories like genre, mood, decade and activity (“Drinking at A Dive Bar,” “’60s International,” etc.) and offers song suggestions based on the time of day and week. The service is free and songs aren’t interrupted by ads. THR The acquisition comes on the heels of Apple’s deal to purchase Beats Electronics and its streaming music service for $3 billion. Amazon also has jumped into the music streaming market with the launch of the Prime Music service, which comes as part of its $99 annual Prime subscription. The move appears to be part of Google’s plans to compete in this increasingly crowded music-streaming space, which is already dominated by Spotify. Variety Google said it plans to use Songza to make its Play Music service more attractive. The Songza purchase also comes as marketers are spending more on online and mobile radio services in the U.S. Ad sales generated $1.65 billion in the U.S. last year, a gain of 26.3 percent, according to digital research group eMarketer. That’s expected to increase another 23 percent to $2 billion this year.

Q2 2014 Ratings: MSNBC Holds No. 2 in Primetime, Slips in Total Day (TVNewser)
MSNBC held on to the No. 2 spot in primetime for the second quarter of 2014, second only to Fox News in both total viewers and the adults 25-54 demographic. But in total day, the network slipped to third in total viewers and fourth (CNN and HLN were tied for second) in the adults 25-54 demographic. FishbowlDC Since 2002, Fox News has been the No. 1 rated cable news network each quarter, ahead of CNN, MSNBC and HLN, nationally. The George Bush / John Kerry 2004 presidential election, Barack Obama / John McCain 2008 presidential election and the 2012 Obama / Mitt Romney presidential election all show notable spikes in viewership for Fox, the highest being in the Fall of 2008. Mediaite CNN’s ratings dropped more than any other cable news network compared to the same quarter last year. In total day, CNN was down 28 percent in total viewers and 35 percent in the demo. In primetime, it was down 31 percent in total viewers and 32 percent in the demo. Additionally, following Piers Morgan’s departure, CNN’s still mostly unresolved 9 p.m. hour sunk to an all-time low in total viewers. Variety CNN’s newest original series, The Sixties, averaged about 1.1 million total viewers and 297,000 adults 25-54 with its first five Thursday 9 p.m. premieres, placing second among news networks in the timeslot, according to Nielsen. Its primetime performance on the weekends is where CNN has looked best in comparisons to its rivals, finishing ahead of Fox News in adults 25-54 (189,000) during the quarter and running second to Fox in total viewers (483,000).

Mike Pride Named Pulitzer Administrator (FishbowlNY)
Mike Pride, the former editor of New Hampshire’s Concord Monitor, has been named the Pulitzer Prize’s new administrator. Pride joined the Pulitzer board in 1999 and served as its co-chair in 2008, his final year on the board. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Pride, who brought the New Hampshire paper to national prominence in two-and-a-half decades as editor, succeeds Sig Gissler, who served for 12 years as administrator. His appointment begins Sept. 1. HuffPost / AP Pride, 67, was named editor of the Monitor in 1983 and led the paper to several awards, including a Pulitzer in 2008 for feature photography. He retired in 2008 but returned briefly this year as editor during a management transition. He retired again in May and still writes a column for the Monitor. Pride served on the Pulitzer board from 1999 to 2008 and was also a Pulitzer juror four times. Poynter / MediaWire The Pulitzers experienced some big changes during the last 12 years under Gissler. Pride said he doesn’t have a specific agenda, and he doesn’t think the Pulitzer board does, either, “other than a desire to stay current.”