YouTube’s New AI Tool Will Create Custom Radio Stations for You | Lifehacker


A YouTube tool uses AI to make custom radio stations for you, an eagle-eyed Reddit user noted over the holiday weekend. While the company hasn’t made any public mention of the feature, Redditor kater_pro stumbled across it while browsing the YouTube Music app, which could mean the feature is only being tested with a limited number of users for now. That assertion is supported up by an “Experiment” tag that’s prominent in kater_pro’s screenshots, so there’s currently no timetable for when (or if) this feature will reach the wider public.

According to kater_pro, activating the feature pops a small text box on the user’s screen that says “Ask for music any way you like.” Kater_pro said they asked the box for “queer hip hop beats;” the AI generated a radio station featuring songs from Janelle Monáe, Lil Nas X, and RuPaul. The station’s description reads “Rhymes and flows from the heart, a celebration of queer pride in hip hop’s art.” A bit of an awkward way to say that, but OK.

It looks like you can tune your AI-generated stations on the fly, as there’s a small chat box at the bottom of the interface with a number of suggestions above it, prompting the user to search for anything from “Upbeat pop anthems” to “Moscow rock scene.” Users can either type or speak their responses.

The feature is similar to Spotify’s existing “AI DJ,” as well as a third-party app for Spotify and Apple Music called PlaylistAI. It’s a more convenient way to get AI help with music than getting plain text recommendations from ChatGPT, although the jury’s still out on if it’ll be any better than more standard recommendation features like Discover Weekly.

Kater_pro didn’t specify whether they’re a paid subscriber, so it’s unclear if the feature will be locked behind a paywall or not (though that has been the case with prior AI YouTube features).