Google Play Music Takes Song Suggestions To Next Level

Should your music app suggest the same song at the gym that it would at the beach, or if you’re, say, filing your taxes?

Of course not -- so to avoid such folly, the latest version of Google Play Music will recommend songs based on users’ geographic location and present activity.

Google Play Music uses machine learning to figure out what music you like and then mixes in signals like location, activity, and the weather along with hand-picked playlists,” Elias Roman, a product manager at Google Play Music, notes in a new blog post.

For privacy purposes, the new features require that users opt-in. The latest version of Google’s music-streaming app also has a new home screen, which, again, prioritizes song suggestions based users’ contextual data.

The new app also includes an offline playlist, based on the music that users have recently been enjoying. That means they can keep listening if and when they find themselves with a WiFi connection.

Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are breathing new life into the music industry. In fact, after years of decline, these mobile-streaming services are helping music sales achieve something of a recovery.

Through the first half of the year, retail spending on recorded music rose by 8.1% to $3.4 billion, according to recent findings from The Recording Industry Association of America. At wholesale, value increased 5.7% to $2.4 billion.

“Streaming in all its forms accounted for almost half of all recorded music revenues in the first half of 2016,” Cary Sherman, chairman and CEO of the RIAA, noted in a recent blog post. “This represents a remarkable transformation and reinvention by a business that was principally physical products just six years ago.”T

There were an average of more than 18 million music subscriptions -- doubling the 9 million reported at the same time last year, the first six months of 2016.

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