You must have seen a lot happening in the music industry in connection with AI technologies. Of course it caught our attention, and we took the time to study this a bit.
#1. AI: music’s enemy or ally?
Let’s start with an easy one: is AI-generated music that different from the human-created one? Turns out: yes. We listened to some examples of music created with AI provided by Digital Music News and it’s not impressive —at least not yet. Same goes for AI-generated lyrics. Thinking about it, it makes sense; one key ingredient is missing. We can’t emulate human feelings.
Maybe AI is not yet able to create amazing and original products without human involvement, but it can certainly recreate style and music. Last week, we talked about David Guetta using a fake Eminem-like Rap during one of his performances. This is exactly what we mean; it’s imitating, not creating.
So where do we go from here? Do we really need non-creative music? Should we and can we use AI to build a different way to create music? True, some of us are going after AI-generated music, depicted as the sworn enemy of the original music. Does it have to be this way or can there be a common ground?
There are a lot of potential collaborations for the music industry and AI-assisted compositions. Our friends at Cyanite talked about the implications of AI in music, not only in composition, in Music Week.
AI clearly represents an opportunity for music. Composition is not the only thing that could benefit from this technology, a lot could be optimized, tracks made more easily available… Developments are yet to come.
#2. New Spotify AI feature soon to be available
Speaking of AI, here is a concrete example of how it can improve the listening experience and, in general, how it can fit in the music industry.
Spotify is releasing a new AI powered feature called DJ. The concept is simple: allowing each user to create their own radio, based on their habits, and brightened up by a “host”. The voice created through an AI will be giving titles, tracks and some information about them. This is defined as the next step of personalization on streaming platforms.
#3. Can TikTok’s "Creator program" work for streaming platforms?
As I’m sure you know, streaming revenues are way too low, not proportional to the work, fame and commitment provided by artists. Since a lot of actors are pushing for a change (and it has been the case for a long time now), we can only wonder about TikTok’s new Creativity program.
Interestingly, the "Creativity Program" is not accessible to all creators. You must meet minimum requirements to access it, such as the number of followers (100 000, a pretty big leap from the 10 000 required for former programs).
So what’s the link between the streaming business model and TikTok? Well, maybe minimum requirements to access funds could be an interesting lead to reinvent music streaming platforms. Sure it would keep smaller artists out of the paying loop, but what revenue are they generating right now anyway? If the global system isn’t working, maybe it should be restrained. In any case, this is obviously questionable as well.
Also, this wouldn’t sit right with the current law on music copyright, ensuring royalties every time a track is being broadcasted or reproduced. It’s a small change but a pretty big question to answer. In parallel, we have been seeing artists looking for alternative ways to generate revenue, since they aren’t able to make ends meet through platforms.
#4. Lyric Capital Group’s new fund for music rights
Lately we talked about the potential recovery of music catalog deals. This week brought us another confirmation.
The NYC-based private equity firm Lyric Capital Group, parent company of Spirit Music Group, announced its second fund, reaching $410 million. In addition, the Company also raised senior debt financing, bringing Lyric’s new capital to over $800 million, to buy music rights.
This follows a recent fundraising back in October 2021. At the time, the Lyric Capital had formed a $500 million strategic alliance with Northleaf Capital.
#5. The European Commission VS Apple
It appears that The European Commission could be fining Apple “up to 10 percent of its "global annual turnover" if "sufficient evidence of an infringement comes to light”.
This isn’t a new issue. Already in April 2021, the European Commission formally accused Apple of unfair competition regarding the music streaming market. Now, following pressure from Spotify and Deezer, the Commission has focused on the App Store rules impact on streaming platforms.