Music Tech

Spotify has plans to let users utilize AI to alter songs

AI music expert François Pachet was hired in 2017 as director of AI research and development to explore how Spotify could use artificial intelligence on the platform. The streamer is finally sharing what they have planned and some musicians will find it very disturbing.

One proposed AI-driven Spotify tool can alter a song’s rhythm and melody. Another can take the harmony of one song and combine it with the melody and rhythm of another.

“You’ll be able to try all sorts of combinations,” Pachet told Forbes “And it’s really fun.”

Fun? There are many creators and rightsholders who will disagree.

User-generated content is crucial to TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and other social media. But user-generated content on Spotify may be a bridge too far.

There are many hurdles like copyright and the approval of creators, music publishers, labels, and other rightsholders standing between AI-driven music alteration and making it available to Spotify’s 422 million active monthly users.

Then of course there are musicians and songwriters.

Some are already used to sharing stems and encouraging fan-generated mix-ups. Others will find the thought of their music altered or being combined with another creator’s music without their oversight unfathomable.

Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

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2 Comments

  1. That would be a really cool feature to implement. I understand the concerns of the rightsholders and artists though. Hopefully, all parties find a path to releasing this feature that is optimal for all.

    1. I think the most viable solution would be that right holders can specify permissions in the metadata whether they would allow such AI-tweaks stated in the article above.

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