Google, record labels will monetize AI songs | Inquirer Technology

Google and record labels want to monetize AI songs

09:29 AM August 10, 2023

Google and Universal Music are discussing how to license artist voices and tunes for AI-generated songs. Nowadays, artificial intelligence programs enable many to make their favorite musicians sing unconventional songs. Universal says this trend steals artists’ careers and personalities, so it wants to clamp down on it.

Creative individuals worry artificial intelligence may remove their ability to earn income from their talents. Fortunately, it seems Google and Universal Music will ensure artists make money from AI songs using their voices and melodies with new technology. Soon, music streaming services like Spotify might create something similar for smaller creators.

This article will discuss how Universal Music and Google will monetize AI-generated songs. Later, I will cover how companies have been developing AI music software.


How will Google and Universal solve the AI song issue?

Image depicting a conversation between representatives from Google and Universal, discussing solutions for AI-generated music.

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People have been creating AI songs based on famous artists and songs. Numerous free tools enable them to create unusual covers in seconds.


Ars Technica shared examples like Frank Sinatra’s voice singing the hip-hop song “Gangsta’s Paradise.” One of the trending ones is Johnny Cash bopping to the “Barbie Girl” song, which coincides with the latest Barbie film.

In response, Universal Music general counsel Jeffrey Harleston spoke with US lawmakers last month. “An artist’s voice is often the most valuable part of their livelihood and public persona, and to steal it, no matter the means, is wrong,” he stated.


Universal and Warner Music have been discussing with Google a tool that will enable artists to earn from AI songs using their likenesses. Financial Review shared a statement from Robert Kyncl, Warner Music CEO.

He told investors “with the right framework in place,” artificial intelligence could “enable fans to pay their heroes the ultimate compliment through a new level of user-driven content, including new cover versions and mash-ups.”

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Moreover, Kyncl added artists must choose whether to join this system. “There are some that may not like it, and that’s totally fine,” the chief executive said.

In April, Universal Music asked streaming platforms to prevent AI services from using their songs without payment or permission. Specifically, it asked Apple and Spotify to remove access to its music library for developers who want to use it to train AI models.

Meanwhile, Google is developing an AI tool to generate music from text descriptions called MusicLM. For example, it could create a hybrid of K-Pop and Classical with a “spacey, otherworldly” tune that promotes a “sense of wonder and awe.”

Are there other AI song projects?

Collage of logos from different AI song projects, showcasing the diversity of initiatives in the field.

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Numerous artists have been calling out people posting AI songs using their voices without permission. For example, “Heart On My Sleeve” became popular on YoutTube after using The Weeknd and Drake’s vocal chops.

Forbes said Drake said, “This is the last straw,” after someone used his vocals to rap Ice Spice’s “Munch.” Also, Sting told the BBC there was “going to be a battle” between “human capital” and artificial intelligence.

That battle will be challenging as the technology continues to improve. For example, Paul J. Zak and his research team discovered how to predict popular hits with artificial intelligence.

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They used a machine-learning model to identify song aspects that elicited a positive emotional response. As a result, their AI tool can predict hit songs with 97% accuracy.

Spotify could integrate that into its DJ upgrade, which recommends songs using AI. Moreover, it features its Head of Cultural Partnerships, Xavier “X” Jernigan, as its virtual DJ.

The update lets people enjoy this music streaming service like radio. Speaking of which, an AI model called RadioGPT can generate radio shows, complete with news updates.


Google and large record labels are discussing how to monetize AI songs. Universal Music’s general counsel says they must prevent people from stealing intellectual property, no matter what form.

They plan on creating an AI tool that would charge people for using an artist’s voice for AI-generated content. At the time of writing, they have not released this program.

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It isn’t the only AI song program, as many tech firms try to apply artificial intelligence to media. Learn more about them and other digital trends at Inquirer Tech.

TOPICS: AI, Google, interesting topics, Music, Trending
TAGS: AI, Google, interesting topics, Music, Trending

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