HomeInsightsBPI publishes report on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the future of the music industry

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The UK record labels’ association, the BPI, has published a new report that explores the impact of Artificial Intelligence and the potential this fast-emerging technology has to transform the composition, distribution and marketing of music.

Below is a summary of key points from the report, entitled: “Music’s Smart Future: How will Artificial Intelligence impact the music industry?

2016 has witnessed a swell of investment and experimentation around AI and machine learning, with a big upswing in new tech-start-ups eager to redefine how we live our lives. The report, authored for the BPI by music industry analysts, Music Ally, explores how AI is touching every facet of the music industry through four main areas:

The evolution of AI in music

  • The backdrop to AI’s increasing penetration of music is set out, including a look at some of its early R and D and first British AI start-ups, such as Jukedeck and Melodrive.
  • The emergence of bots that take requests on Twitter; WaveNet, technology generating speech that mimics any human voice; and Baidu AI Composer image-recognition software and neural networking that enables an image to be converted into a song.
  • Developments in AI-driven music composition on Flow Machines software; AI being used to create a music video for Brian Eno’s song The Ship; and Symphonologie, which uses AI to help create a symphony to be played by a human orchestra.
  • How record label A&R and marketing teams are using “big data” analytics to predict consumer reactions and shape campaigns.

Humans and algorithms fuel smarter music recommendations

  • How the power of “big data” can be employed to better understand human behaviours and provide a more individualised experience.
  • Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer all use AI to analyse users’ behaviour and to understand the relationship between songs so as to mix in new relevant tracks among a user’s favourites.
  • A new strain of AI technology has emerged that can take account of contextual data: Google Play now mixes signals like location and the weather with machine learning about a user’s music listening to offer the right song at the right time.
  • DJ apps which put traditional DJ decks onto touch-screen devices are on the rise: Pacemaker and Serato.

Chatbots find a place in the music industry

  • Messaging apps have become an essential part of our mobile lives, and chatbots are a popular new communications tool. Music companies are already experimenting with them.
  • Chatbots became more important after Facebook opened up its Messenger platform to third-party chatbots in 2016. They are not just messaging apps, but platforms with hundreds of millions of users that developers can build on. Written bots will in time be supplanted by voice interactions.
  • Labels and artists are embracing AI to engage fan bases: Bastille and their label Virgin EMI used a Facebook’s Messenger chatbot in a campaign to promote the release of their new album Wild World, while Robbie Williams with the “Robbot” and Olly Murs have created their own chatbots to engage fans.
  • Media platform MTV used chatbots to engage with European Music Awards viewers, while tickets service Ticketmaster uses the technology to recommend upcoming concerts to fans.

Smart voice assistants from the big tech titans

  • These include Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant, which understand human commands and make it easier and more intuitive for consumers to access music online.

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