Can Songza Beat Music Titans Pandora and iTunes?

CEO Elias Roman thinks his start up Songza has what it takes to go head-to-head with music heavyweights Pandora, Spotify and Apple's iTunes. And some big names in venture capital agree with him ... to the tune of $12 million.

Songza is a music streaming service that aims to provide what Roman calls a "soundtrack for your life," matching curated playlists to the time of day, day of the week, your taste in music and what you're doing while you're listening (i.e. waking up, working out, eating dinner, etc.).

He appeared on CNBC's "Power Lunch," which gives CEOs a chance to make a 60 second "Power Pitch" aimed at convincing a panel of experts that their startup has what it takes to succeed.

"We focus on what you're actually doing out there in the real world and how we can make that better with music," Roman said.

Roman isn't new to this space. He started a music Internet company called Amie Street at Brown University and sold it to Amazon in 2010. He believes his latest startup is popular because it takes the music experience to the next level.

"For our millions of active users, we're the first thing they do in the morning and often the last thing they do at night," he said.

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The service is currently free for users, supported by display ads on web and mobile. Sponsored and branded playlists can also be curated by companies, celebrities or individuals. The company has created playlists with Justin Bieber, Radio Shack, Black Planet and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Songza is currently available in the U.S. and Canada. Investors include Amazon.com, Metamorphic Ventures and ShoeDazzle's Brian Lee.

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