Despite how much we know about Google Home, every day brings a little nugget of information that we may have missed before. Take for example playing a "radio" of songs similar to an artist or title. When Google Home launched, I could have sworn there was a support page that explained how to do that, but for the past few months I have looked and looked and didn't find anything. I also tried several commands that I thought would work, to no avail. I gave up, blaming it on the fact that I have a Spotify premium subscription and thinking the radio feature might be available to free users or to Google Play Music subscribers. However, today one of Google's support pages added a mention of just what I wanted, and it works.
Google says you can use two commands to request songs and artists on Home speakers:
- "play songs like <song>"
- "play songs like <artist>"
I tried both with my Spotify premium subscription. Lo-and-behold, my Home Mini answered, "Check out this <artist/song> mix on Spotify," and started playing the correct radio. I don't have a Google Play Music subscription to test it with, but technically, it should work there as well. (If you have a free Play Music service in the US and Canada, playing song/artist stations is the default behavior and has always been so.)
Odds are this feature has been working for a while, but I was trying the wrong wording and couldn't trigger it. It might also be new(ish) and yet undiscovered. Either way, the ability to play similar tunes to what you want but not exactly that can break the boredom and predictability of listening to the same thing all the time. It can also help you discover new songs and artists you might enjoy. So if you've never tried it before, give those commands a go and see if they help you broaden your horizons a little.