Artificial intelligence and the music business
The ways in which people consume music — along with the way it’s made — have changed through the years. So, will artificial intelligence be the next big change in the industry? I’m taking a look at one industry leader’s plans, so far.
TOLEDO, Ohio — French-owned Universal Music Group is the leading music company in the U.S., with an apparent market share of 37.5%. You may not have heard of them, but just maybe you recognize their labels: Interscope, Geffen, A&M, Republic, Island, Def Jam, Capitol, Virgin, I could go on. Labels home to names you definitely recognize, like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Drake, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Selena Gomez, and so many others.
UMG announced back in late May that it had partnered with what’s described in a news release as an “AI sound wellness company.” Endel will work with the music company to create “soundscapes” for listeners’ everyday activities, like sleep, relaxation, and focus. UMG says this effort will be a source of new music, while taking advantage of its extensive catalog, which includes plenty of other big names that span decades — from pop to rock to jazz to rap to R&B.
And recently, it was reported that the company was in talks with Google to license the vocals and melodies of artists for AI-generated songs, something that comes at a time when fan-made AI covers of songs are rising in popularity.