One of Google’s biggest missions at the moment is around contextual information – the ability to supply you with the correct information at the right time, without you having to ask for it. Anyone who has used an Android smartphone running a version of Jelly Bean or newer, or taken a peak at the Google Search app on iOS will have more than likely interacted with Google’s prescient prediction engine.

The news that Google has bought streaming music service Songza will therefore be instantly recognisable as another move down the path of contextual information for Google. Unlike Apple’s acquisition of Beats Music which was, among other things, about Apple gaining a foothold in the streaming music space, Songza was acquired for its ability to recommend music to you in a “contextually-sensitive” way.

Need a playlist of high tempo jams to get your gym session off to a flying start, or a collection of popular music to play outside at a braai? All you need to do is tell Songza and it will bring up a playlist for you. Songza’s playlists are all curated by human beings, which means the songs are not simply inserted in because they have a matching genre or artist – they adhere to the context of the request.

“Over the coming months, we’ll explore ways to bring what you love about Songza to Google Play Music.” Google said in its official press statement on the purchase. “We’ll also look for opportunities to bring their great work to the music experience on YouTube and other Google products.”

While we don’t yet have access to Google Play Music’s All Access streaming service in South Africa, the rumoured YouTube music subscription service may very well hit our shores in the near future and Songza looks to be a strong component of what Google will try to offer.

Where we’d like to see Google use this ability is to combine Google Maps, heart rate sensor and a fitness app on an Android Wear smartwatch (for example) and start playing up tempo music if we start falling behind on our desired running pace, or Eye of the Tiger when we reach a particularly steep hill climb.

[Via – TechCrunch, Image – +GooglePlay]