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  • Despite AI, music artists will continue to suffer and die in obscurity.

Despite AI, music artists will continue to suffer and die in obscurity.

AI is creeping into every dark corner of the music biz. Whether you're a musician, producer, artist manager, casual listener, or Spotify’s CEO

Tell your chatbots to buckle their seatbelts and hold onto your headphones, folks, because AI's about to shake up the music industry in a major way. And no, it's not just about generative tools this time. AI is creeping into every dank corner of the music biz.

Whether you're a musician, producer, artist manager, casual listener, or Spotify’s CEO, it's time to brace yourself for the musical revolution that's about to go down.

Now, let’s speculate, wildly!

Where there is data there shall be AI.

Machine learning has been a part of the industry for a while, but as AI tools become more broadly available, we’re going to see analytics, targeting, and recommendation tools made more available to artists…. or more likely, we will see them being used more effectively on behalf of artists.

We'll see standalone AI marketing and data analytics tools hitting the market but for music artists, our biggest boon will come in the form of better tools and analytics dashboards inside of Digital Service Providers (DSPs) like Spotify.

The big DSPs have dump trucks full of data on listener behaviors and preferences based on everything you can imagine — genre and mood, key and tempo, instrumentation, geolocation, search history, podcast interactivity, browser types, related artists, engagement metrics, underwear size, etc. *(ok, maybe not that last one).

They use machine learning to understand that data.

Any DSP who says they care about the artist should start by sharing access to that data with said artists, right?

Spotify does an ok job of that via their Spotify for Artists platform. Between them and Apple Music, the top two music streaming platforms in the US, Spotify is lightyears ahead in terms of giving artists better data to use for marketing.

But on the other hand, an artist has no way to message their followers on Spotify. That seems crazy and Music Industry pundit Ari Herstand likes to point out just how crazy it is. He talked about this disconnect on his podcast in an interview with Sam Duboff, the Director and Head of Creator Brand & Product Marketing at Spotify.

There must be a good reason for Spotify and Apple Music to withhold artists’ direct access to their fans, right? Frankly, I think it's because they think artists would spam their fans — and some surely would. The trope, “marketers ruin everything” comes to mind.

And if you look more closely at the data we get access to on Spotify for Artists, or any DSP platform, you can see that Spotify is not as altruistic as they seem. They are really only giving us basic data, mostly demographics.

Much like full access to our fans, they withhold full access to our listener's data.

I’d love to be able to message my fans directly on Spotify but what would we do with more data if we suddenly had access to it? I’d bet most artists wouldn’t do much with it at all.

I think it’s better used in the hands of Spotify and Apple.

Take a look at this tweet from our friend, Ari Herstand:

Ari Herstand Twitter Screenshot

This is our data at work!

The point here is that AI and machine learning have been a growing part of the music industry for a while and whether we artists realize it or not, we are already reaping the benefits through better discoverability and recommendation engines.

Let me be the first to point out, this is not a panacea. Many talented artists will continue to suffer and die in obscurity.

But I believe that with continued progress in AI and machine learning, and as more people come online each day, we will see more and more artists finding their 1000 true fans.

Icelandic death metal fans in Subsarahan Africa will finally be connected with your weird neighbor who sucks at guitar and talks like Bjork.

Let’s let Ari Herstand tie it all together, because I’m beginning to ramble…

Ari Herstand Twitter Screenshot about data

📌 AI Music Tool of the week:


Website: Aiva.ai

What makes Aiva different than other AI-generated audio tools?

For me, it’s the ability to export Aiva AI-generated music as Multi-tracks.

Aiva generates a layered musical arrangement based on anything the user uploads. AI-generated music tracks can then be exported as individual midi, WAV, or MP3 audio files or stems.

The music artist or producer can upload those files to their DAW and use whichever tracks they want —maybe they just want to use the bassline in their track. Then they can discard everything else like the drums, lead instruments, etc.

Aiva CEO does a TED Talk (Link to TED)

📌Random Curated AI Music Links from around the web :

  • Apple Music is using AI to make karaoke tracks (Link)

  • Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) “RIAA Lobbying Disclosure Form Lists ‘Artificial Intelligence’ as a ‘Specific Lobbying Issue’ ” (Link)

  • Rick Beato, music commentator, Youtuber, musician, and producer discusses how the use of Auto-Tune in recent decades has opened the door to A.I. music. (Link)

  • Hypebot: “5 Reasons Musicians Shouldn’t Worry About AI (Yet)” (Link)

  • Shad M. Brooks, writer, Youtuber, and “proud nerd” shares an argument for why he believes “A.I. made art does not steal” from other artists. The discussion on his Twitter was sharply divided, as you might expect. (Link)

  • Epic Twitter Thread: “Everyone says AI is coming for music next. Well... IT'S HERE! Use these 7 AI tools to be on the cutting edge of music artists” (Link)

  • Govee unveils AI-aided screen and music syncing at CES (Link)

  • Flowful Uses Generative AI to Create Ambient Music, Personalized to You (Link)

  • Music Industry History Lesson: “In 1930, the union of American singers spent the equivalent of $10m on a campaign to stop people from listening to recorded music and watching movies with sound…” (Link)

  • AI music-tech start-up Fanify raises $400,000 (Link to article) (Link to Fanify website)

  • Innovations To Expect In The Music Industry In 2023 (Link)

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