YouTube and Universal Music team up to take on Intel…

Bloomberg — YouTube is experimenting with artificial intelligence in the music business in partnership with Universal Music Group and several other artists, including singer Roseanne Cash and producer Dan Wass.

A newly created Music AI Incubator, this Other partners, including rapper Yo Gatti and the estate of singer Frank Sinatra, will explore and provide feedback on AI-related tools with the aim of getting more artists involved in the technology. Universal CEO Lucian Grange said in a blog post on Monday.

YouTube CEO Neal Molan insisted in his own post that the streaming video giant wants to enforce copyright and monitor its service for unauthorized use of an artist’s voice. AI-generated videos on YouTube have been viewed more than 1.7 billion times this year alone. The goal of the incubator is to find ways for artists to benefit from new technology.

„We’re excited to continue to advance our goal of helping artists and creators earn money on YouTube, and we’ll do it together with our partners.” Molan said.

The recent explosion of generative AI tools has raised concerns that creators’ work could be used to create new songs without proper licensing or attribution. Earlier this year, streaming services removed a fake song featuring vocals from Drake and The Weeknd after it went viral on the internet. The song was viewed more than 8.5 million times on TikTok and listened to over a quarter of a million times on Spotify before being removed.

Since then, record labels have been quick to respond to perceived threats against their catalogs. In April, Universal Music told streaming platforms to stop using AI services for music, according to emails first seen by the Financial Times.

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Grange has previously warned of an „avalanche of unwanted content on platforms” and „ownership issues related to current copyright law” if AI development goes unchecked.

The partnership with YouTube reinforces the idea that the label is taking a proactive approach to managing AI-related risks.. Universal already signed a deal with audio wellness company Endell earlier this year that allows its artists and labels to use Endell’s AI technology to create background music soundtracks.

Setting out three key principles of its approach to AI, YouTube said, “Generative AI systems can augment today’s challenges such as trademark and copyright abuse, misinformation, spam and more. But AI can be used to identify this type of content.

The video-sharing platform said it is committed to investing more in AI-based technology to help protect its community of viewers, creators, artists and songwriters.

Few industry members have embraced the technology wholeheartedly. Canadian singer Grimes made headlines in May when she announced that she was willing to let anyone use her voice to compose a song with AI, sharing half of the royalties with them.

Analysts are optimistic about AI’s future potential in music production. AI could be an opportunity for the music industry, Goldman Sachs analysts said in a research note in June.

„The largest owners of intellectual property rights are better placed to take advantage of technology and protect their intellectual property,” they said.

The production of a new Beatles song using artificial intelligence demonstrates that technology offers opportunities, Citigroup analysts said. Not only risks companies like Universal Music, but also allows them to „sweat” historical assets.

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YouTube said it will share more details about specific technologies, monetization opportunities and AI-related policies in the coming months.


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