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The new face of Streaming, TikTok and AI - WR #157
Weekly Roundups
April 14, 2023

The new face of Streaming, TikTok and AI - WR #157

New week, new changes for the music industry! We’re diving into the most influential platform of the field to give you all the details.

#1. Millennials and Streaming, a story

This week we start with some reflections on music streaming, inspired by MIDiA’s latest report, ‘US millennial snapshot | A looming generational blind spot’. While Generation Z is an absolute supporter of streaming anytime, anywhere, Millennials seem to take a different path.

In fact, although Millennials have been crucial for the industry so far, according to the latest report by MIDiA Research, it seems that the situation is changing and streaming has been losing support from this demographic.

This is a worrying figure for the industry, because people between 25 and 34 are in the perfect age to be both enthusiastic about music. More importantly, they also have money to spend on music, compared to the generation of the youngest. In particular, this generation seems to be more attached to the methods of listening they have grown up with, such as CDs, vinyl and radio, to streaming.

Another interesting fact is that millennials would prefer to preserve the human and social aspect in the streaming experience. So maybe recommendation and AI-linked new tools aren’t that appealing to them.

#2. Streaming officially reaches the first trillion of 2023

Staying on the topic of streaming, it has already exceeded one trillion in 2023 — according to the latest study by the research company Luminate. This keeps on showing how important the volume of streams is for the main artists today.

At the top remains ”Flowers” by Miley Cyrus, which is currently the most streamed song of 2023, with 1.16 billion global audio streams. Not too shabby. She’s closely followed by SZA’s "Kill Bill", with 885 million on-demand global audio streams and The Weeknd's "Die For You", with 629 million streams.

#3. It’s time to say goodbye to Spotify Hifi

Bad news for those who hoped for Spotify Hifi: it probably will never come! As we all know, Spotify is no longer just a music streaming platform. It is now an audio platform, which also includes podcasts and audiobooks. But above all, the trend is increasingly towards social media — as evidenced by the new interface in the style of TikTok.

All these adaptations are designed to meet the needs of the industry and the target audience, as stated by Spotify co-president, Gustav Söderström. He also said that they are working on a hifi level, but for the moment it does not seem to be a realistic possibility.

In fact, the ideal users of Spotify are comfortable with a vertical scrolling interlock with videos and that, on the contrary, would not be willing to pay more for a Lossless/Hifi audio.

#4. What would a TikTok ban mean for the charts?

A TikTok ban could have a noticeable resonance in the music industry and could really mark a change in the charts. Bobby Owsinski talked about it in his Podcast.

He thinks that a TikTok ban would entail a great difficulty to reach the world rankings, which now happens easily, even to emerging artists. Although viral content is quick to fade away rapidly too.

In any case, the songs that manage to get on the charts could stay there longer and not be quickly replaced by other hits overnight. Success would therefore be more difficult, but also more lasting if we were to consider removing the impact TikTok has today.

#5. AI-generated artwork is spreading

It is now official: AI can also generate album cover art and you can use them! DALL-E 2, currently in beta, is now available and the music industry is showing signs of acceptance.

Music distributor Too Lost has partnered with OpenAI to use its artificial intelligence art generation tool DALL-E 2. So, Too Lost has added AI album cover generation to its suite of tools. Not only can it generate covers from existing images, but it also can create a completely new image based on a description.

But what will the artists think? The generation of AI album art worries mainly because of its potential misuse and the likely impact on creative works. Also, who would own the rights?

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