Spotify, a popular music streaming platform, has reportedly deleted tens of thousands of songs generated by artificial intelligence (AI) from its library. The move responded to concerns over “artificial streaming” and potential fraudulent royalties. Universal Music Group, a major music company, raised suspicions about the authenticity of the listeners for these songs, suspecting they were software-generated rather than human.
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AI Music Startup Boomy Faces Scrutiny
Boomy, an AI music startup, mostly created the AI-generated songs removed from Spotify. Launched in 2021, Boomy allows users to create original tracks using its proprietary AI algorithms based on certain “vibes” and styles the user selects. These songs can then be uploaded to popular streaming platforms like Spotify, where the creators can earn royalties.
However, some people allegedly used this automated music creation model to generate fraudulent streaming traffic tied to non-human listeners or bots. This inflated listener numbers and could be exploited to earn revenue from these streaming platforms illegally. As a result of these concerns, Spotify removed about seven percent of Boomy’s tracks – amounting to tens of thousands of songs – from its library.
In response to these allegations, Boomy confirmed it is “categorically against any type of manipulation or artificial streaming.”
Universal Music Group Takes Action
Universal Music Group had recently called on streaming services like Spotify to crack down on AI-created content after detecting suspicious activity with some Boomy tracks. Michael Nash, Chief Digital Officer at Universal Music Group, praised Spotify’s efforts in addressing the issue:
“We’re always encouraged when our partners exercise vigilance around monitoring activity on their platforms.”
Although Boomy faced scrutiny initially and suffered temporary removals from the platform for certain artists’ new releases, they have since been re-enabled, allowing new songs by Boomy artists to resume being uploaded to Spotify.
AI-Generated Music Stirs Controversy
The removal of AI-generated tracks from Spotify highlights a growing controversy surrounding the use of AI in music production. While some artists, such as Grimes, view the merging of AI technology and music production as a natural evolution of the art form, others raise concerns about copyright issues and misuse of AI for generating revenue through fraudulent streaming practices.
Moreover, the Universal Music Group has explicitly called AI-created music “fraud” and sent requests left and right for their removal from various streaming platforms.
The Impact on the Music Industry
The emergence of AI-generated music has raised concerns among industry insiders about its potential impact on songwriters, composers, and musicians. There is also worry that non-human listeners or bots may deplete royalty pools meant for legitimate artists.
Boomy’s popularity can’t be ignored either – its website claims its users have created over 14 million songs, equivalent to nearly 14% of the world’s recorded music. The growing presence of AI-generated songs on platforms like Spotify could undeniably impact the future revenue and authenticity of human-created music.
Spotify’s decision to remove thousands of Boomy’s tracks serves as a wake-up call for both the music industry and tech companies to find ways to address these pressing issues while ensuring that all royalties are rightfully earned by their creators.