5in5 Reviews: Songza gets you in the mood

Have you ever wanted to listen to music but just couldn’t decide what you wanted to hear?  Scrolling endlessly through your iPod or shuffling through cd’s?

I know you have because it happens to me all the time, and in those moments I wish someone would just come along and put something on for me that I feel like listening to.  Songza has come to save the day!  Their “Music Concierge” feature is what separates it from its competitors – Songza brings new meaning to the phrase “setting the tone.”  It suggests certain playlists for you based on the time of day, your mood and specific genre preferences – and will only get smarter the more you use it.  For example, what I listen to when I work out is very different than what I listen to when I’m cleaning the house on a Sunday afternoon. And a Friday night sure has a different feeling than a Monday morning.

Along with playlists contributed by listeners, Songza has enlisted music experts to curate each playlist giving you a unique song experience, its not an algorithm choosing songs and artist it thinks you like, they KNOW you’ll like it. But in case it doesn’t strike your fancy, there is a skip limit of six but, based on my personal experience, you won’t have to worry about that because the playlists are that good.  There is also a thumbs up and thumbs down selections to customize your listening experience.

Songza has also partnered with brands to give them yet another way to connect and engage with their audiences.  The men’s lifestyle website Thrillist has created the ultimate summer playlist with an assortment of new, cool songs that they think are the perfect accompaniment “for driving with the windows down or pre-gaming for a festival (but not at the same time).”  Listening to it now, I have seemed to develop an overwhelming urge for a cold beer and a hot dog.

Like Nietzsche, I believe that life without music would be a mistake, and like Songza I also believe that good music makes good times.  Songza’s insight into the importance of a great soundtrack to any day or occasion is what gives this site a leg up on the otherwise stiff and limiting competition. And if the expert playlists and endless supply of music isn’t enough for you, how about the fact that its 100% free and there are no audio ads!

So, what music suits your mood?


Jenn Kish (aka @StartupJenn) reports on the companies featured on 5in5NYC and covers other NYC tech news. You should hire her!

5in5NYC episode 3 – inSparq, SiteSimon, FancyHands, and VisualRevenue

5in5NYC features 5 startups in 5 minutes each! 5in5NYC is a new, positive outlet for NYC startups. We feature 5 startups each week, and give them a chance to share what they’re building, answer questions, and interact with each other.

If you’d like your startup featured on an upcoming episode, send us an email to: me AT ericskiff.com


Alternate formats:
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inSparq – Grow sales through sharing

SiteSimon – Reading recommendations while you browse

FancyHands – Personal assistants for everyone

VisualRevenue – A real-time decision support platform for front page editing


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It’s time for tech news to route around damage. Again.

The ViewYou’ve likely heard the phrase “the internet routes around damage” and in many ways it’s true. When a node can’t handle the traffic going through it, traffic finds another way around. The network heals itself, and information continues to flow.

For a long time, the same was not true with news. TV channels and large publications grew huge audiences and amassed the power that goes along with it. As they became gatekeepers of information dispersal, the PR industry grew around them and began to charge for inside access.

The advent of blogging turned a good chunk of the news industry on it’s head. News audiences, dead-tree paper readership, and nearly every other metric for influence for old-media news have been on their way down for over a decade, while blogs have sprung up on every possible topic. The largest among them amassed massive readerships, pulled big sponsors, and sparked acquisitions. New empires have grown around style, gossip, tech, and more.

The cycle of disruption is endless, though. Wherever there is more information than there are channels to spread it, there is power. Where there is power, there is money to be made, and a whole ecosystem of middlemen springs up.

As it becomes easier to start companies and build apps, there is more and more news to cover. Simply put, the tech news landscape has not kept up with the amount of news that is being generated, and many startups are struggling to find their way into today’s tech publications.

It’s time to shake things up again and put the power (and responsibility) of dispersing that information back in the hands of people that are truly connected to and passionate about their subject. The existing giants in tech publishing have done well, but it’s time for a new generation of smaller, more focused publications to stand up alongside them.

That’s what 5in5NYC is, and it seems that we’ve struck a chord. Our show is booked solid with amazing startups for this week and filling up for next week already. New York needs this. The startup landscape needs it.

So, we’ve stepped up to provide this service to our fellow entrepreneurs, but I’m putting out a call for others to join us. Do this for your city, or for whatever particular niche you’re passionate about. Find the people creating new, amazing things, and give them some time in the spotlight.

Help the news route around damage. Again.


Follow @5in5NYC to get updates when we publish shows, featuring 5 NYC startups each week.

Eric Skiff is one of the co-founders of 5in5NYC, a hacker at QLabs, and co-founder of NYCResistor and Postkin and makes free 8bit music.

5in5NYC is here to serve the NY Startup community – if you’d like your startup featured on our show, please get in touch at me AT ericskiff.com