Google Play Music Now Recommends What You Should Listen to Next

Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 14.

A new update to Alphabet's  (GOOGL) Google Play Music could help it compete more effectively against Spotify and Amazon's  (AMZN) Amazon Music Unlimited. 

Starting this week, Play Music will be equipped with machine learning software that can recommend music based on a user's location, activity and current weather conditions, among other things. The new features are accessible on Play Music's web player and iOS and Android apps, Google said in a statement

The update also creates a curated playlist that can be listened to offline. 

Google said it hopes the new features will make Play Music "smarter, easier to use and much more assistive."

Play Music isn't the first streaming service to offer personalized playlists. Spotify last year launched Discover Weekly, an algorithm-powered function that pulls from a user's listening history to compile playlists. It also studies the approximately 2 million user-created playlists, to find similar themes and song choices, according to Quartz

Apple's  (AAPL) Apple Music also has a "My Favorites Mix" that's similar to the features offered by Google and Spotify. 

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What makes Play Music's curated playlists different from Spotify's Discover Weekly is its machine learning technology. Algorithms require programmers to enter specific functions, while machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that doesn't require explicit programming.

It's unclear how Google stacks up to Spotify and Apple in paid subscribers, as Google hasn't disclosed those numbers yet, according to Business Insider. Spotify currently has 40 million paid subscribers, while Apple has 17 million. 

Meanwhile, Amazon announced today that it's making Amazon Music Unlimited available to the UK. The move comes a little more than a month after Amazon launched Amazon Music Unlimited, which unlike its competitors has the ability to be linked to its Echo virtual assistant.

Google Play Music is also equipped to work on the company's Google Home smart speaker. 

The new version of Play Music will be available in 62 countries. 

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