In recent months, YouTube Music has seen a slew of tweaks that refine the app but don’t fundamentally change the experience. That’s par for the course at Google, but what’s been incredibly odd is how the YouTube Music team has not meaningfully talked about any of these new features until last week.

YouTube Music’s last major feature launch that warranted a blog post from the company was the addition of the Home feed activity bar and availability of personalized My Mixes in November. The last time YouTube actually talked about its Music streaming service was in mid-February when previewing upcoming features for the main video, TV, and Kids apps, as well as creators. 

At that, the YouTube Music bullet point was mostly just a regurgitation of the November personalized mixes news while hinting at making “user-created playlists more discoverable to others on the platform.” That functionality eventually rolled out in April by having search distinguish between “Featured” and “Community playlists.”

That launch — along with a slew of other enhancements to search, outline-style icons, and usability — was never detailed in a public manner until last week. (The only exception is YouTube Music for Wear OS, though it was never really detailed in-depth before release.)

Last week, Google announced it was “launching a bi-monthly roundup of product improvements” on the YouTube Music Help Community. 

Every other month, you’ll hear new updates directly from us with the hope that these posts keep you better informed about all the things we’re working on at YouTube Music. 

The inaugural one for August 2021 covers May, June, and July, with the company seeking “your thoughts on these launches and improvements as well.” 

Know that different members of the music team will keep checking these posts to see what YouTube Music listeners think of their launches, and may prioritize future changes based on your feedback!

Highlights are below, and this is a positive development from the YouTube Music team. The steady tweaks in recent months have indicated to users that the streaming service is still being developed with a focus on usability enhancements — though some argue that there are no big features. While most are not expecting some radical update, the lack of communication threw into question Google’s commitment. 

  • If you’re using a SmartTV or gaming console other than Android TV to listen to music on YouTube Music, you can now enjoy an improved audio player interface which offers a cleaner look for tracks with album art.
  • If you’re on a Premium subscription and listen to YouTube Music on Sonos speakers, you can now start listening to a radio station based on a song in the Sonos app. Doing this is easy, just select the option from the three dot menu (aka Info View) from the Browse or Now Playing screen on your Sonos app.
  • Your Mood Mixes (for example: Workout, Focus, Chill) will now incorporate a more detailed analysis of your musical history to find content best suited for the Mixes, including your history from outside these Mixes. This means that these Mixes (including both Supermixes + Clustered Mixes) will better reflect your personal music tastes. This was a top listener feedback and we’re happy to make this change!
  • If you’re using YouTube Music to listen to songs from India or Brazil – where user-generated content (UGC) is very popular – you’ll notice how song radio recommendations will now include UGC as well. We’re doing this so that we can surface high-quality, desired content (that is unique to the region) better to our listeners and will continue to work on providing recommendations specific to a given region to our listeners. Note – UGC content from other regions is still filtered out in song radio recommendations.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: