YouTube Music is introducing a new radio experience that lets users create their own custom stations, the company told TechCrunch on Tuesday. Prior to the launch of this feature, users had started music listening experiences by picking from preexisting playlists, radios, or albums, but now users can create their own radios from the ground up.
According to TechCrunch, with this new experience, you can pick up to 30 artists when creating your own radio station. You can also choose how frequently these artists appear and apply filters that change the mood of the station. The experience lets you choose if you want the radio to include only the artists you’ve selected if you also want content from a broader set of similar artists as well. There’s also the option to refine your results further by using specific filters, such as “new discoveries” or “chill songs.”
Popular music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music offer radio features that allow users to create playlists based on a specific song or artists, but they don’t offer additional customization beyond that point. YouTube Music’s redesigned radio experience gives users a lot more flexibility than its competitors.
The Verge reported that the new YouTube feature, called the “Radio Builder,” started rolling our on Tuesday and can be accessed by scrolling to the “Your music tuner” section of the YouTube Music homepage in the iOS or Android app.
According to The Verge, when building your custom station, you can select up to 30 artists and choose whether you want to only hear music from them or if you want to pull in songs from similar musicians. You can also tell it to play songs that you’re familiar with, new-to-you songs, or a mix of the two and add filters, letting you tune the mix.
You can use the feature, which will be available anywhere you can get YouTube Music, whether you’re a paying subscriber or a free user, according to Google spokesperson Paul Pennington.
9to5Google reported that YouTube Music’s “Create a radio” feature lets you build stations “from the ground up, by combining key music building blocks such as artists and common music descriptions to whether the user wants songs that are discoveries, or chill songs, for example. This feature was spotted in testing at the end of last year.
From the Home feed, scroll until you find the “Create a radio” card that’s labeled as “Your Music Tuner.” You are then presented with an endless grid of artists, with the ability to pick 30. Afterward, you determine whether the “Song selection” – or “frequency of those artists” – should be: Familiar, Blend, or Discover.
9to5Google also reported that you have “Filters” for Popular, Deep cuts, and New releases, as well as Pump-up, Chill, Upbeat, Downbeat, and Focus. Sometimes, YouTube Music will note when there are “No songs to play” and you have to try different options.
When your Custom Radio Station is complete, you’ll get an “always updating” radio using the new layout. The playlist is named after the selected artists and characteristics. You can manually save this radio by using “Add to library” next to the play button.
As someone who makes a whole lot of themed playlists on YouTube, I think the custom radio stations feature is interesting. That said, I’m having a lot of fun making themed playlists on one of my YouTube channels, and don’t feel a need to make a YouTube radio just yet.