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New comers in the music industry - WR #179
Weekly Roundups
September 15, 2023

New comers in the music industry - WR #179

This week has been the moment for several platforms and tech to take their positions in the music business. From Duolingo to AI voice cloning, let’s dive in.

#1. Some news about Believe’s expansion strategy

Believe is celebrating its 10th anniversary of expanding into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. The company has distributed over 700 million of euros in royalties to the APAC music industry, making their commitment to participate in a sustainable ecosystem for artist development all the more visible. With a presence in India, China and Southeast Asia, Believe represents more than 10 000 record labels and artists. It has strategically acquired and partnered with local music entities, positioning itself as a key player in various regional music markets and actively contributing to the rise of local artists.

Believe's involvement in expanding local music markets goes with their strategies of operating in emerging markets with significant potential. In China, the company has witnessed substantial growth, leveraging partnerships with streaming platforms Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) and NetEase, as the country's music market expanded by 28.4% in 2022. Southeast Asia is another focus for Believe, with expectations of a quadrupling in paid music streaming subscribers by 2030. The company has actively supported regional artists and acquired stakes in music companies like Viva Music and Artists Group (VMAG). Overall, Believe's commitment to nurturing local talent and driving growth in emerging music markets positions it as a pivotal force in the evolving music industry landscape in Asia and beyond.

#2. Are short-video platforms impacting streaming in a bad way?

After the SNEP’s claims that short-video platforms such as TikTok have the tendency to drive music fans from subscription streaming services, the main actor is talking back. SNEP had argued that these platforms hinder the subscription model's growth in France. They contended that these platforms, especially TikTok, prevent the subscription model's development by capturing users who opt for short music excerpts rather than full tracks on paid streaming services.

In response, TikTok's Ole Obermann emphasized TikTok's role as a music discovery platform that leads to greater music consumption and value both on and off the platform. He noted artists achieving streaming success alongside virality on TikTok and the fact that TikTok's efforts to streamline the user journey from discovery to full-track streaming.

#3. Duolingo gets into the music business

Duolingo is expanding into music education, introducing a music course within its app later this year. Given Duolingo's massive user base, this move represents a significant step in music learning, offering a unique platform for language learners to engage with music in an educational context, although specific song details remain undisclosed.

#4. A quick glance at the Web3 and metaverse trends

Virtual performances in the metaverse, like Ariana Grande's Fortnite concerts, are expanding artists' reach and creating immersive experiences. Similarly, metaverse popstars, entirely digital artists, offer fans unique interactions without the constraints of the physical world.

Virtual merchandise sales within gaming platforms are becoming a lucrative revenue source for musicians, enabling brand collaborations and sponsorships. Additionally, music NFTs are gaining prominence, allowing artists to tokenize various aspects of their work, from album covers to exclusive memberships. These NFTs not only open new revenue streams but also empower artists to engage directly with fans, bypassing traditional intermediaries. As the metaverse and web3 technologies continue to evolve, they are reshaping the music industry, offering fresh avenues for revenue and innovative fan interactions.

#5. AI voice cloning is already there

AI voice cloning allows fans to generate 'deepfake' versions of songs by altering the vocals to mimic another artist's voice, yielding humorous yet unsettling outcomes. As AI voice cloning gains traction, it challenges the sanctity of a singer's voice, raising questions about creativity and ethics in music.

And now, the technology is becoming more accessible, enabling fans to experiment with AI cover songs, but also posing a threat to the music industry's copyright and artistic integrity. Major labels are now exploring licensing artists' voices for AI-generated music to create a legal alternative. The potential for monetizing AI voice cloning is evident. However, ethical concerns loom regarding the devaluation of artists' voices and questions about who ultimately owns these AI-generated renditions. As voice cloning disrupts the music landscape, the industry seeks innovative solutions to adapt and regulate this emerging technology.

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