Google/Alphabet’s notoriously scatterbrained music strategy is finally getting some focus. Now, YouTube Music is taking some cues from Spotify and Apple Music.
Just last week, Google and its Alphabet parent finally started its long-rumored transition away from Google Play Music. On Android 10 devices, YouTube Music is now the default standard, instead of Google Play. Of course, that’s not a clean, decisive replacement — this is Google, after all — but it puts the transitionary wheels in motion.
So far, YouTube Music — the paid one, that is — has failed to shock the world or grab meaningful marketshare from leaders like Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon’s streaming music platforms. But maybe that will start to change with greater resources and internal attention. Just this morning, YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan officially unveiled three different personalized playlists for the premium YouTube Music app.
At TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco this morning, Mohan officially unveiled three personalized playlists: Discover Mix, New Release Mix, and Your Mix. All will employ a “combination of things like machine learning and human beings,” and bear exceeding similarity to personalized playlists already offered by Spotify and Apple Music.
Discover Mix, as the name suggests, uses past listening across YouTube to craft recommendations. That includes newer songs by artists already played, as well as music from new artists entirely (at least from the perspective of the user). That sounds similar to Your Mix, which seems to blend the familiar and unfamiliar for users.
New Release Mix, meanwhile, is basically YouTube Music’s clone of Spotify’s Your Release Radar. That’s a pretty cool playlist concept, and serves us lots of music from groups that are getting played frequently. It’s a pretty good recommendation engine, simply because the songs are coming from favorited artists.
Exactly what this means for Google Play Music is anyone’s guess.
If history is any guide, the service will gradually be starved of Google’s attention, updates, and even routine fixes. Perhaps a few years down the road, the app will be shuttered or merged into YouTube Music somehow.