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Who will change the music industry: AI, listeners or Elon Musk? - WR #165
Weekly Roundups
June 9, 2023

Who will change the music industry: AI, listeners or Elon Musk? - WR #165

Welcome to our brand new Weekly Roundup! In this edition, we will explore the latest hot news in the music industry, from Elon Musk's potentially influential role to the tension between podcast unions and Spotify, and even the remarkable resurgence of Tina Turner on the charts, there's a lot to unpack and explore. Get ready for an exciting journey where music, technology, legal disputes, and industry advancements intertwine. Let's dive in and stay up-to-date with the latest news!

#1. Is Elon Musk going to be the music industry’s savior?

MBW is revisiting predictions from a year ago, reflecting on the first 12 months of Elon Musk being the owner of Twitter. Could his actions, all while precipitating the platform towards a strong decline, settle a path for new models in the music industry? Hear us out; instead of catering to the demands of music companies, Musk may introduce MuziX, a blockchain-based platform that democratizes music licensing and copyright management. This initiative poses a threat to collective rights management organizations.

Twitter, in its role as a space for musicians to interact and launch Web3 music projects, aligns with Musk's interest in AI and Twitter's potential to analyze human interactions, enhancing its AI projects. MuziX would consist of various components, allowing creators to set their own terms.

It’s no secret that the traditional music industry has no choice but to embrace these changes and collaborate with blockchain technology. Performing rights organizations, major record labels and publishers need to adapt and focus on securing favorable agreements for songwriters through legislation, negotiation and education. Collaboration and the abandonment of ego-driven approaches are key to the industry's success. Musk, therefore, is seen as someone capable of uniting the industry and triggering transformative change.

#2. Spotify under fire with Podcasting Unions

Podcasts have become a highly lucrative segment of the streaming industry, with Spotify acquiring well-known podcasts for substantial sums of money. However, recent developments have raised concerns about the stability of this landscape.

In fact, podcasting unions representing Gimlet and Parcast have criticized Spotify for mismanaging the companies and laying off around 200 employees including workers at much-loved podcast studios Gimlet Media and Parcast - “Whether Spotify Studios has a vision remains to be seen.” they said.

The unions released a joint statement expressing disappointment with Spotify's handling of the acquisitions, stating that the streaming giant "wasted the opportunity" to utilize the acquired talent effectively. Specifically, they mentioned canceled shows, unfinished projects, lack of direction, and limited revenue due to exclusive platform deals.

The statement also highlighted Spotify's failure to fund Parcast's DEI Committee as required by their union contract. All this brings us back to the first question of the unions: does Spotify Studios have a clear vision? At this point it is clear that the future of some beloved shows of Parcast remains uncertain, despite the will that Gimlet and Parcast had brought to the sector.

#3. Tina Turner's Music Catalog Soars Back to the Charts 

As the music world is mourning the loss of the iconic Tina Turner, who passed away at the age of 83 last week, a very common phenomenon occurred in this kind of situation - her music soared back to the charts.

Fans, along with music enthusiasts, flocked to Tina Turner's extensive catalog, resulting in an impressive surge of over 40 million streams in the United States within just one week. Among all her songs, "What's Love Got To Do With It" garnered the highest activity, experiencing a remarkable 686% increase in streams. This was closely followed by the tracks "The Best" and "Proud Mary," which also saw substantial streaming growth.

The impact of Turner's music extended beyond streaming platforms. Her presence was felt on the Billboard charts, where multiple songs from her discography secured spots across various categories. Furthermore, her greatest hits album, "All the Best: The Hits," climbed the rankings, reflecting the renewed interest in her remarkable body of work.

Tina Turner's legacy is undeniable, and her passing has reignited the appreciation for her musical contributions. As fans celebrated her life and career, the world was reminded of the enduring power of her music, which continues to captivate audiences even in her absence.

#4. Spotify's AI DJ: Influencing or Forcing our Musical Preferences?

Spotify has long embraced the power of generative AI with its new DJ feature, which creates personalized playlists for users based on their tastes and listening history. Additionally, the AI-generated voice, known as DJ X, directly engages with listeners by announcing songs, providing context, and sharing facts about genres and artists. The AI technology behind DJ is supported by a team of human writers who inject personality and music knowledge into the algorithm.

However, some have reservations about using the term "DJ" for an AI tool. This is why Spotify emphasizes that AI DJs are not intended to replace human DJs but rather offer a unique and personalized experience for users, with customization at the core, suggesting music that they may enjoy.

With the same algorithmic logic, AI DJs aid in music discovery, but on the other hand, they may also potentially influence and steer users' choices. Have you ever thought about it?

#5. Deezer Unveils Strategy to Detect AI Music

In response to the increasing prevalence of AI-generated music and fraudulent streaming, Deezer, the popular music streaming service, has revealed its comprehensive strategy. The company's primary goal is to detect and address AI-generated content by developing powerful tools and implementing a tagging system that informs users, artists, and labels about the authenticity of the music.

By focusing on reducing fraudulent activity, Deezer aims to establish a fair and equitable remuneration model that distinguishes between different types of music creation. To achieve this, the company has invested in extensive research on Audio AI and content identification, utilizing its innovative "Radar" technology for effective detection of fraudulent content.

With the staggering number of over 100,000 new tracks uploaded daily, Deezer recognizes the importance of prioritizing quality and supporting genuine artists. By actively confronting the challenges posed by AI and fake streams, Deezer is committed to fostering a transparent and trustworthy environment for music consumption. The company continuously strives to enhance its detection capabilities and actively supports initiatives that discourage fraudulent activities.

Deezer's efforts mark a significant step forward in combating AI-generated music and ensuring that artists receive proper recognition and compensation for their valuable creations. As the music industry evolves, Deezer seems to remain dedicated to upholding integrity and promoting a sustainable ecosystem for all stakeholders involved.

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