YouTube Music will no longer use exact location to generate play recommendations

Based on the idea that in order to work to its full potential, mobile apps need to know your location, YouTube Music has so far used exact location coordinates to generate playback recommendations, with not-so-good results.

That’s how music suggestions have come to reflect too much the preferences of the community you’re in, and less the specifics of the region/city or country. That’s why some users have found that using YouTube Music means they get different music suggestions than, say, at home. While the approach might work, for example, with Google Maps, when you expect to get recommendations of interesting places to visit nearby, for music it is reasonable to say that relating individual listening preferences to your location is not that important.

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YouTube administrators are trying to solve this problem as simply as possible by substituting precise location pinning with positioning based on somewhat more generic criteria, such as the city you’ve been in for a while:

“Over the past year, we’ve found new ways to get you to the right music. For example, you can now find music for working out, concentrating, and other activities in the activity bar at the top of the Home section.”

So starting September 26, Google will no longer use your exact location to deliver YouTube Music listening recommendations. At the same time, the company will also delete any data derived from your location.

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Both the YouTube Music app and the YouTube client will continue to use your approximate location to deliver recommendations, banking on the idea that the information is sufficient for auto-selecting relevant content.

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