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Google Play Music Adds New Release Radio to Free and Paid Tier

Google’s music streaming service is putting machine learning to good use to keep its users up to date with the latest music they might like. Google Play Music rolled out a new station dubbed New Release Radio this week that serves up new music recommendation based on its users’ taste profiles.

“The station uses machine learning to select singles and album releases from the past two weeks based on your listening history and musical preferences,” said Google Play Music Tech lead Manager Dharti Dhami in a blog post. “It’s a really quick way to check out all-new music that’s tailored just for you.”

The station is being updated continuously with new releases, said Dhami. Google first tested this new radio station with a subset of its users on Samsung handsets in recent weeks, and is now making it available to everyone, including both paying subscribers and free users.

Google Play Music isn’t the first music service looking for new ways to keep its subscribers interested in the latest releases. Spotify in particular has been hugely successful with its personalized “Release Radar” playlist, which it started to send out to subscribers on a weekly basis in early 2016.

But it may take more than just a feature like this for Google to catch up in the music space. The company has been held back by the fact that it is essentially running two competing music services, Google Play Music and YouTube Music. It took a first step towards bringing those products together earlier this year when it integrated both teams, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai suggested at the time that we may see a more unified product offering later this year.

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