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AI-Generated Music is Taking Over Streaming Platforms. Is this a Cause for Concern for Artistes?

Updated: Apr 24, 2023



The Artificial intelligence wave is upon us and it is not limited to pictures, graphics, or books alone. We noticed the influence of Chat GPT on the writing world, but it didn’t stop there because AI has now caught up with the music industry as well.


AI is revolutionising the music industry by providing new ways to create music.

 

AI-generated music is made possible by allowing the use of algorithms to produce music that resembles human-created music. This music resembles human-created music so much that it is difficult to state the differences.


Let's have a look at the AI-generated music, Heart on My Sleeve, that Ghostwriter created using AI to embed Drake and The Weeknd’s voices.



Heart on My Sleeve by Ghostwriter, an AI-generated song


 

Heart on My Sleeve is an AI music-generated song that was uploaded by Ghostwriter on all music-streaming platforms on April 4, 2023. This song has since amassed millions of views and streams, making it one of the most streamed songs at the moment. The song features a combination of electronic and acoustic sounds, creating a sound that is both futuristic and nostalgic.

 

After releasing the song on all music platforms on April 4, Ghostwriter went on to upload snippets on his TikTok account, Ghostwriter977, on April 17.




Heart on My Sleeve had a lot of views and shares before ghostwriter revealed that it was AI-generated music and that Drake and The Weeknd did not originally perform the song. This has caused a wave of speculation as to whether some artists have been using AI music generators for some of the songs they have produced.

 

On that same April 17 that the snippet of the song was released on TikTok, Universal Music Group (UMG), Drake's label, filed for it to be brought down and asked Spotify and Apple music to ban AI from accessing its songs.

 


 

Universal Music Group, the music company that represents Drake, The Weeknd, and a slew of other superstars, addressed an urgent letter to streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music, in April, requesting that they prohibit AI platforms from training on the melodies and lyrics of their copyrighted songs.

  

UMG urged streaming platforms to block AI companies from accessing the label’s songs, the Financial Times reported, saying that it had become aware that certain services had been trained on copyrighted music “without obtaining the required consents”, and warned the platforms: “We will not hesitate to take steps to protect our rights and those of our artists.”


Although the song has been pulled down from all streaming platforms, it had more than 250k+ streams and was beginning to top the charts.


The impact of AI-generated music on the music industry


 

The impact of AI-generated music on the music industry is significant and cannot be hidden any longer. AI-generated music has provided new opportunities for music production, making it more accessible to people who may not have musical training. This technology has also allowed artists to create new sounds and compositions that were not possible before and faster!

 

On the other hand, AI-generated music has created new opportunities for music consumption, creating platforms where amateurs could go on, input datasets for the kind of music they want to listen to and generate such music. This technology can create personalized music for listeners, providing a unique listening experience, and it can go as far as creating a playlist.


Criticisms of AI-generated Music



One of the criticisms fans have of AI-generated music is that it lacks the emotional depth and creativity of human-created music. They argue that it lacks the human touch which makes art relatable and enjoyable.

 

They also argue that this new wave of AI-generated music may lead to job losses in the music industry, because as AI-generated music becomes more popular, there may be less demand for human-created music, leading to job losses for musicians and producers.


 

For example, there's an AI version of Drake and Kanye West singing WAP by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, there's also an AI Version of Drake singing Afrobeats singer Asake's "Palazzo", and one of Rihanna covering Ayra Starr's Rush. Users are having fun creating covers and versions of music with AI. Although, it might seem funny, the consequences might be dire.


So, what's the future of the music industry if AI keeps producing great music sung by our favourites? Has AI-generated music come to take over the music industry? We do not know for sure, but one thing is certain: AI can never reproduce the special touch that comes from humans and this is what will keep making human-created music stand out.

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