Cake
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    • It's my view that music discoverability should, in 2018 and beyond, be a central consideration in choosing a streaming service, and it should be a central element in any review on the subject.

      Couldn't agree with you more!

      Up until Spotify came out with a subscription service, which now seems likes years ago, I carefully managed all of my music collection in iTunes. Until one day I asked my coworker why he was so fond of Spotify. His reply was simple: "It is so easy to discover new music".

      In the old school music economy, where you had to purchase songs one-by-one, there is a bias towards listening over and over to the songs you already have. After all, you've invested so much money in your collection, it makes sense to maximize your return, instead of spending more. 30 second previews of the songs left "music discovery" feeling like work instead of joy.

      That all changed with Spotify and YouTube Music for me. I now enjoy discovering music with algorithms doing the hard work and I love the fact that having a subscription encourages me to explore rather than re-listen. Occasionally I refine my music preferences by giving algorithms signals ("liking", "thumbs up" etc.) as I listen to the endless stream of music, which generate better mixes and recommendations.

      I found that YouTube Music actually has better recommendation engine and serendipity than Spotify. But I use both for different contexts: YouTube Music for Apple TV music videos, while Spotify for songs. I still create playlists though because there are songs I just can't get enough of and having a quick access sometimes is mission critical.

    • This topic has been rolling around for a while so thanks for providing a venue for me to post it!

      I also have an Amazon Music account for the Echo only, which is great because my 6 year old can ask for music whenever he wants (as he obviously doesn't have a phone). He likes Johnny Cash and Santana best.

      Interestingly, someone on Twitter today commented that they get unofficial covers of songs from YouTube Music too - it wasn't something I had noticed myself, although that doesn't mean I haven't been served them as well.

      The algorithm does seem to be very responsive to skips or likes and so that does mean things should keep getting better.

    • Great points. Interestingly, the one thing I don't use YouTube Music for is music videos; I don't have anything against them, it's just that most often I'm not looking at my screen when I'm listening (I'm either using head phones/ear buds or am connected to speakers). I wondered how much of a problem that might be at first but I just keep the player in audio only mode.

      Part of the YouTube Music service also gives me ad-free YouTube videos though so, when I am using my screen to watch videos, I definitely get the full benefit.

      I can't comment on how the recommendation engine compares to Spotify overall but the YouTube Music engine is definitely faster to get my preferences. Spotify's Discover Weekly specifically says that it needs to learn your tastes "for a few weeks" but, with YouTube Music, it took about an hour of set up and "liking" songs and pieces of music.

      I really like your mention of the "old school music economy" which I was obviously invested in prior to streaming. For me though, that is where creating playlists was so important, because I didn't like it when I'd start humming the start of the next album track in the gap between tracks. Playlists were great for mixing things up.