These 5 tricks helped fix my YouTube Music recommendations

YouTube Music is a popular music streaming service that has evolved from Google’s original Play Music subscription service. Like any music streaming platform, its algorithm can occasionally become less accurate over time due to various factors such as diverse listening habits and infrequent use of its features. This article outlines five practical strategies to improve your YouTube Music recommendations and ensure a more enjoyable listening experience. Whether you’re a long-time user or new to the service, these tips will help you get the most out of YouTube Music’s vast library and sophisticated recommendation system.

Improve YouTube Music Recommendations

When you use the same music streaming service for years, play songs for friends, take requests at a BBQ, and thumbs up/down all sorts of content, the recommended music eventually gets a little weird. There are countless reasons to use YouTube Music, as it’s packed with features. Interestingly enough, one such feature is the option to manually improve the algorithm for suggestions and song recommendations. Here’s how:

  1. Manual Improvement: Fire up YouTube Music and tap your Profile photo in the top right corner. Select “Settings” near the bottom, tap on “Recommendations,” and hit the “Improve Your Music Recommendations” button. From here, YouTube Music will let you pick five artists you like and will automatically populate a few from your listening history. Choose specific artists if you’re looking for a certain genre or a varied mix of artists you enjoy. You’ll see a ton of bands here, so choose wisely, then select “Done” at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Dislike Songs, Videos, or Podcasts You Don’t Like: As you know, “liking” a song by tapping the thumbs-up button tells YouTube Music that you enjoy the song, style, artist, and other factors. That one action could greatly impact the songs, videos, or podcasts it’ll serve up in the future. Naturally, the same applies to disliking a song or artist by hitting the thumbs-down button on YouTube Music. Try to stay vigilant. Instead of hitting “next” to skip a song or artist you don’t enjoy, make sure you tell Uncle YouTube and give it a thumbs-down. Recommendations are also based on the artists that you subscribe to on YouTube Music and YouTube.
  3. Try the Music Tuner to Create a Radio: Initially, YouTube Music didn’t have many features compared to the competition. Thankfully, the team has continuously added new goodies, a comment section, and more over the years. Perhaps the best feature, in my opinion, is the “Your Music Tuner” on the app’s home page. You can create your own radio station on YouTube Music, serving the best songs tailored to your tastes. Scroll down the main home column of the YouTube Music app to find the music tuner, then create your radio station.
  4. Remove Content You Don’t Enjoy: While liking or disliking songs will help train the algorithm, unliking a song will not automatically remove it from your Library, playlist, or recommendations machine. Inside the YouTube Music app, head to your Library (on the bottom right) and scroll through some of the lists of liked music and playlists. If you find any songs or artists you no longer enjoy, long-press on the song and select “Remove from Library” and/or “Remove from Playlists.”
  5. Reset the YouTube Music Algorithm: Unfortunately for some, all the tips above can’t save you from whatever music your significant other (or kids) play on your account. If your music recommendations are out of control, you can clear the history and somewhat reset the YouTube Music algorithm. Open YouTube Music on a web browser and navigate to the same Settings > Privacy section as earlier. Now, click “Clear Watch History” and confirm you want to proceed by clicking “Clear Watch History” again on the popup screen. Doing so will completely erase your YouTube watch history from all YouTube apps on all devices. You can also clear your search history, which may affect the content suggestions across YouTube and YouTube Music.

Being able to go into recommendations and add artists I’m interested in did the trick for me. That, combined with being diligent in liking or disliking songs, YouTube Music continues to deliver great content, fun acoustic versions, and more, which is why it’s my preferred music streaming service. I also use and love YouTube Premium, which makes YouTube Music ad-free and removes video ads from YouTube.

These 5 tricks helped fix my YouTube Music recommendations
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