Here we are! This is the last Weekly Roundup of the year and we’ll keep things quick and simple; the latest news of the industry is right here so you can pick what you need and get to New Year’s Eve!
#1. Spotify is reacting strongly against the French Streaming Tax
Spotify has cut ties with French festivals Printemps de Bourges and Francofolies de La Rochelle due to France's upcoming "streaming tax." This has been decided after Spotify's criticism of the tax, emphasizing a shift in priorities if implemented.
The 1.2% tax that should be applied to all platforms aims to fund the National Music Center, while Spotify is advocating for a voluntary-contribution system. The withdrawal impacts financial agreements and artist activations, hinting at potential user subscription changes. Further announcements from Spotify are expected in 2024 as the situation unfolds.
#2. Copyright challenges in a world of AI
Universal Music reveals that fraudsters are leveraging AI to sell counterfeit soundalike tracks, falsely marketed as authentic pre-releases from major artists. In addition, prices can go as high as $30,000 each!
In a recent submission to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), UMG's VP of Global Content Protection, Graeme Grant, disclosed a surge in AI-generated uploads to user-generated content platforms, with 175% growth since August. Grant details that scammers use AI to create fake pre-release tracks, fooling users into "group buys."
Despite the challenges, UMG maintains that current copyright legislation, if correctly interpreted and enforced, does not require fundamental changes, except for potential additional protection of personal rights in specific territories.
#3. Another AI bill coming up
A new bill, the AI Foundation Model Transparency Act, introduced by Representatives Anna Eshoo and Don Beyer, demands transparency from creators of foundation models, including AI music startups. This is currently happening in the US, following the AI Act passed by the EU.
Aimed at fostering transparency in AI use, the bill requires companies to disclose essential information to the Federal Trade Commission and the public. This includes training data sources, model training processes, and whether user data is collected. With potential legal consequences for non-compliance, AI music companies must align their practices with regulatory standards.
As this legislation progresses, AI music startups are urged to monitor developments and adapt practices accordingly to navigate the balance between innovation and respecting copyright laws.
#4. Old is the new fresh
In 2023, music's main spotlight shifted from new releases to high-profile reissues and remixes, showcasing the industry's thriving experience economy. Taylor Swift's "Eras Tour" and Beyoncé's "Renaissance World Tour" set the tone for generation-defining events, emphasizing greatest hits over recent albums. 2023 witnessed a surge in reissues, going beyond standard anniversary editions, with artists experimenting to offer a fresh experience using existing music.
There’s a distinction to be made between reissues and remixes, highlighting examples such as the Drive-By Truckers, Bob Dylan, Daft Punk, and U2. The Beatles, pioneers in the reissue revolution, continued to impact music with their use of AI, as seen in the release of "Now and Then," created using machine audio learning. Are we witnessing the beginning of the reshaping of our legacy through new technologies?
In a music landscape where nostalgia retains its influence, the resurgence of old music through thoughtful reissues and remixes becomes a strategic and artistic move for artists seeking relevance and connection with both existing and new audiences.
#5. The potential for AI-based music startup
To wrap up our last Weekly Roundup of the year, let’s open on a vision for the future. From predicting a shift where everyone becomes a musician to Spotify's recent layoffs sparking a potential startup surge, Hypebot explores the evolving landscape of the music industry. Discover the pulse of AI-generated music, its impact on artists, and the potential rise of 1,000 new music tech startups.