How AI Will Disrupt the Music Business

How AI Will Disrupt the Music Business

Let’s get real – the music business, you know, the soul of it, hasn’t really changed for…well, it feels like forever. Artists create, record labels back and distribute, fans find songs they love. Then boom! Along comes AI, shaking things up like it’s nobody’s business. We’re not just talking a ripple here, folks. This is a full-on tidal wave.

So, yeah, buckle up, and let’s talk about how AI is changing the game. If you’re a traditionalist, well, you might wanna brace yourself.

Music Creation: AI the Co-Producer

Remember when songcraft was this sacred thing? Lyrics that bled straight from the artist’s heart, melodies crafted by tortured geniuses over days, weeks… Now, that’s still happening, but we’ve got AI as a collaborator. Companies like Amper Music, Jukebox, and others offer AI-powered tools that can generate backing tracks, suggest catchy melodies, even help with lyrics.

Here’s what the big-shot producers have to say – “AI isn’t about replacing human creativity, but helping it reach new levels” – some top 40 producer who wants to remain nameless. It’s kinda like an idea machine; if you’re stuck in a rut, AI can spit out options and variations you might not have even considered.

Now, I’ll admit, a computer ain’t gonna replace the next Bob Dylan. Songwriting isn’t just technical, it’s soulful. But it can make those 5 am studio sessions with a writer’s block a whole lot less frustrating. Let’s face it, even Lennon and McCartney used dictionaries once in a while!

Distribution: Goodbye Gatekeeper

Back in the day, if you wanted your music heard, you needed a record label. Those days are fading fast. Today, any two kids with a laptop, the right software, and AI-generated beats can drop a track on SoundCloud or Spotify. And that’s changing the way we discover music.

Instead of having radio DJs or label execs as gatekeeper curators, now AI recommendation algorithms decide who gets heard. They analyze tons of data – your song’s sound, lyrical content, other music you like.

A report by McKinsey & Co. states “…by 2030, over 70% of online music listening will be guided by such AI algorithms”. No bribing industry folk needed! Now, it’s about that perfect beat for the listener, the vibe of the track, and whether the AI gets it.

Of course, the downside is this ocean of content makes it tough to rise above the noise. That’s where marketing savvy and AI come together, more on that later.

Royalties and Copyright: An AI-Sized Mess

This is where stuff gets complicated – and trust me, I’ve seen my fair share. Ownership, copyrights, fair use… they’ve always been fuzzy areas in the best of times. But with AI generating music, who gets paid? Did that sick guitar riff the computer came up with borrow inspiration from an existing human-made track? Who’s at fault if an AI accidentally plagiarizes?

We don’t have crystal-clear answers yet. It’s an evolving conversation in legal circles. If your AI track uses snippets of other material, you could be looking at a complex legal tangle. This isn’t some wild idea from the future: companies like OpenAI have made legal headlines with intellectual property questions swirling around their art generating systems.

The whole music biz is waiting for test cases, new policies… heck, a total rewriting of the rules to define fair play with AI in the creative sphere.

Personalization: Music That Reads Your Mind

Okay, maybe not literally reading minds, but you get the idea. AI is becoming insanely good at predicting what you want to hear before you even realize it. You know those “Discover” playlists? That’s not some intern curating that. It’s machine learning on overdrive. They analyze your listening habits, musical preferences, the time of day… even your mood.

Think of it as music tailored to your exact tastes, just for you. A Deloitte report stated, “92% of customers are receptive to AI-driven personalized recommendations when it comes to music selection.” That’s huge! This shift makes labels less ‘tastemakers’ and more focused on finding audiences for that AI-assisted sound.

Marketing Revolution: From billboards to Viral AI

Marketing’s always been key in music – hyping artists is how you sell, right? Enter AI, changing the equation yet again. Instead of billboards and old-school PR, it’s all about data-driven insights and the viral hook.

We’re talking about AI analyzing fans’ online behavior– tweets, forum comments, the works. Identifying where your potential audience hangs out, what language they use, the content they connect with. This isn’t about focus groups anymore – it’s pinpoint targeting using an army of machines.

But here’s where the human touch can’t be replaced: those insights are only as good as the minds interpreting them.

Fiona Bloom Founder of The Bloom Effect Music Pr Agency added

“I don’t look at Ai as disrupting the music business but more of an ‘injection’ and overall boost to the eco-system.It will force us to re-evaluate and work smarter and align ourselves with more of the tools and technology that’s available.I believe in working side by side with AI and not against it or feeling threatened by it.It’s about artists leveraging it and diving in!  Not being scared.  

Ownership over the creation of the melody is a very big component When you take Ai and copyright a set of melodies, covering all melodies. That’s a scary notion. The only thing I’m against is the collaborations of artists that actually didn’t work together.  Ai developed songs.  You have to preserve your artistic creations.

Everything’s experiential.  Faster production, how you advertise. Ad program, grows your audience.  Introduces you to new audiences that would never hear of your music in the first place. Musicians need to work with Ai to enhance what they already do!  As long as we keep an open mind, the HUMAN will always take over!  It will still take a real songwriter, a real producer to make hit records!”

AI can craft the perfect TikTok sound byte and push it onto relevant feeds, but it takes savvy marketers to turn that virality into sustained artist success. It’s not about brute force, its about a human hand on the digital wheel.

The Changing Face of Fandom: When AI is the Hype-Man

Get ready for this because it’s a bit out there. Imagine AI-powered chatbots that act like superfans. Instead of fan clubs run by underpaid interns, you’ve got these hyper-personalized AI companions 24/7 dedicated to hyping the artist – answering questions, generating conversations, and even crafting customized merchandise.

Some fans may find it a bit intrusive, but those craving deeper connection? They’ll go mad for it! Fan communities won’t just be human-to-human; it’ll be fan-to-AI and all kinds of hybrid versions in between. It’s going to get very meta, very quickly.

The Elephant in the Room: Are We Headed for Music Blandness?

It’s the question keeping some old-school execs and diehard fans up at night. With AI making it easier for anyone to make music, are we in for a tsunami of mediocre, AI-generated pop? Will musical originality take a back seat to what is, in essence, algorithmic assembly?

Now, here’s what experience tells me: music’s power has always been its human imperfection. Sure, a perfect 4-chord AI creation might get stuck in your head for a day, but that real connection, the thing that makes a song stick with you for years? That still hinges on a human storyteller. Absolutely! Here’s an extension with an additional focus on where human creativity still thrives as AI grows stronger in the industry.

Live Experiences: Humanity Can’t be Digitized (So Far)

With all the tech talk, easy to forget that music is live at its heart. Sure, we’ll see AR/VR concerts, even the occasional AI holographic performer, but that visceral feeling of being physically present at a show, with your favorite artist and a crowd swaying and screaming? AI hasn’t cracked replacing that raw energy.

AI might revolutionize song distribution and promotion, but live shows will continue as a haven for that irreplaceable human touch. Artists who excel at building on-stage charisma, captivating their audiences with an emotional experience – their stock won’t get devalued with a rise in AI-made competitors.

In fact, with more ways to get your music to everyone, live performances become even more valuable for building meaningful connections and dedicated fanbases. Think of touring less as how you gain attention, but the arena where you forge those unbreakable bonds that turn casual listeners into lifelong supporters.

Is There an “Authenticity Crisis” Brewing?

Some music critics are pointing out a coming challenge. They say, in a world where everyone can use AI to churn out polished hits, how do fans know what’s truly ‘real’? We might need a whole new vocabulary to tell audiences who co-wrote their new favorite tune with a computer over their morning coffee versus the artist pouring their guts out in a sweaty basement over months.

The question of authenticity looms large over the landscape, and smart artists are ahead of the curve, weaving these tech tools into their narrative of who they are as artists. Will fans embrace that tech-fueled candor, or is it more appealing if songs and stories emerge through a shrouded haze of ‘old-school’ mystery? As with every great disruption, how the audience reacts will shape the future.

Looking Ahead

Okay, this might sound odd coming from a guy like me, a music biz lifer. But, while AI’s disruption is sometimes unsettling, it can also be invigorating! This shakeup creates possibilities that never existed before – imagine musical genres made possible because of AI-human collaboration, a whole new frontier of sound waiting to be explored.

My advice? Don’t resist the inevitable – the AI train is already barreling down the tracks. Ride the wave, use these tools wisely, and trust that real musical talent will always find a way to shine through. It’s like anything else in this business: there’s opportunity here if you’ve got the hustle and vision to capitalize on it, with human passion as your guide… even if some backup beats were cooked up by the lab coat guys!

1 Comment

  • Thanks for sharing. I read many of your blog posts, cool, your blog is very good.

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