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  • Writer's pictureEric Doades

Music Meets AI

We’re excited to share with you one of the hottest sessions from the 2023 Music Tectonics Conference Music Meets AI Navigating a Positive Future.

If you were at the conference, enjoy this fun refresher on the conversations we had there, and if you weren't with us in Santa Monica, you will really love this episode. Check out other recent episodes for more conference takeaways.

Whether you're excited by artificial intelligence or wary about its implications, you can't deny it's one of the hot topics of 2023. In this episode, you'll hear from Con Raso at Tuned Global, Marina Guz at Endel, Angela Abbott at TIDAL, and the session is moderated by Allie Garfinkle. It's a fascinating conversation and we hope you enjoy Music Meets AI.

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Episode Transcript

Machine transcribed

0:00:10 - Tristra

Welcome back to Music Tectonics, where we go beneath the surface of music and tech. I'm your host, Tristra Newyear-Yeager, Chief Strategy Officer at Rock Paper Scissors, the PR firm that specializes in music innovation and music technology. I'm excited to share with you one of the hottest sessions from the 2023 Music Tectonics Conference Music Meets AI: Navigating a Positive Future. If you were at the conference, enjoy this fun refresher on the conversations we had there, and if you weren't with us in Santa Monica, you will really love this episode. Come on, you should plan to join us next year. Check out other recent episodes for more conference takeaways.

Whether you're excited by artificial intelligence or wary about its implications, you can't deny it's one of the hot topics of 2023. In this episode, you'll hear from Con Raso at Tuned Global, Marina Guz at Endel, Angela Abbott at TIDAL, and the session is moderated by Allie Garfinkle. It's a fascinating conversation and I hope you enjoy Music Meets AI.

0:01:22 - Ali

Hello, my name is Ali Garfinkel. I am the senior tech reporter at Yahoo Finance and I think we're going to be talking about AI today. I'm not sure no one's been talking about it at all, but I'm very lucky because the folks here with me on this panel are experts. So who would like to introduce themselves first? Con, you're looking particularly serene, if you could give us your name and a little bit about your company.

0:01:46 - Con

Great Hi all Con Raso. I'm the CEO of Tuned Global. We are a music technology platform, so we have 130 million tracks and provide them to different people in the industry where they're building streaming services or need music for gaming or for Web3 executions or whatever that might be, and I think, like all things, ai is just intersecting in most elements about music, so it's really high in our radar. Marina.

0:02:21 - Marina

Yeah, nice to meet you. Yeah, my name's Marina. I'm super happy to be here. It's really nice. This venue- Best venue I've been to for these kinds of conferences, I think and well, I'm Chief Commercial Officer at Endel and we create functional music, wellness music, so music for sleep, relaxation, meditation and we use AI to do that. And mostly we partner and collaborate with artists and labels where we create functional versions of the music that they give us. So it's all collaborative. We get content from an artist on a label, we apply scientific principles, we use our technology to do that, and then we create a version of the original album that's either made for sleep or focus or relaxation. So we help artists move into this functional music space that they're typically not really a part of. And, yeah, so that's where our AI piece comes in. It's not like scraping all the sleep content in the world. It's something we have developed with, like, our team of in-house composers and a bunch of scientists and, yeah, very collaboratively.

0:03:22 - Angela

Cool, I'm Angela Abbott. I am in Business Affairs and Music Licensing at TIDAL. We're a global digital streaming platform, so probably not much more I need to say about that, except for we really pride ourselves in being artists first and really thinking about ways that we can support the creative community.

0:03:45 - Allie

So, before we go any further, we were sitting backstage and we realized we had a question for you all. Who here identifies as an artist? Raise your hand? Okay, alright. Who here is a rights holder? Okay. And then who here identifies as a tech company person? Okay, what do you think? Was that what you were expecting?

0:04:15 - Con

Very, nice, nice split. Yeah, it's a really nice split.

0:04:18 - Allie

We actually weren't sure, and part of the reason we wanted to ask is we want to make sure we gear this conversation towards who's here, because we were talking backstage and this is a minefield. So I want to kind of start definitionally what does it mean for music to meet AI and how is that happening right now, today?

0:04:38 - Angela

Angela. Okay, I actually took some notes because it is a minefield and it's an ever-evolving topic. So I think it's important to first start by saying even though I work at TIDAL, I have my own sort of music industry opinions, so I'm probably not going to get deep in the weeds on TIDAL, AI policies or anything like that Very lawyerly.

Just throwing that out there, but I've seen it in a lot of different ways. Obviously, music creation I kind of categorized so production, functional music, lyrics, artwork, in-art, even Live music, which I don't think it's talked about enough, but think about set design, backdrops, graphics, platforms, obviously personalization recommendations within platforms, within hardware, and another one that I don't think it's talked about enough is operationalization. So when we think about what does that mean? Data trends, music rights, metadata matching, like the things that we actually need to do operationally so that we can pay, report, track these things. So, whether it's like content ID matching, figuring out if the music did come from an AI-generated source, if it has an original copyright attached to it, all the way through to payments reporting, that sort of thing, so it's extensive one could say .

0:06:05 - Allie

What about you, Marina, from your vantage point?

0:06:08 - Marina

So one thing to add maybe is stems, because that's something we deal with a lot. We work. We need the label to give us stems. I don't come from this world, I come from tech, so I didn't think this would be a problem. To get stems. It is a massive problem. Every one of you said a label knows that, especially for the older jazz classics stuff. Obviously that's difficult anyway, but even for things that have been recorded recently, it's like on someone's hard drive and some basement and they can never get me stems for some reason. So that's one of the things that has really changed. Also with AI is all these tools that are able to separate stems, and that also opens a ton of opportunity to work with this music, re-imagine it, not just for things like Andal, but there are so many application cases that you need stems for, so that's something that I work with daily, for example, what about from your end, Con?

0:06:59 - Con

Yeah, I think, similar to Angela. I mean a lot of our clients would be creating their own services, perhaps at a different scale to TIDAL, but trying to engage with users. So we're really thinking about and experimenting about AI, certainly in terms of suggestions, definitely those back office items that Angela spoke about and how do they become easier. I mean they are incredibly complex items to do and AI, or the fundamental technology behind AI, really allows, I think, the future to be easier, certainly be able to process a lot more data faster. But we are definitely also looking at interfaces and how does AI affect interfaces? What does it actually mean? What does a user's history actually mean for the interface they're using? Should that interface change based on AI?

So it is going reasonably deep to understand how. Ultimately, in our case, how do we create more listening minutes? So what's going to keep a user on a platform and engage that user At a pure? We've got a tech team at a pure coding level. We're seeing up to 30% efficiency by using AI encoding, whether it's co-pilot or other things that the team is using. We're using it in peer reviews. We're using it in understanding marketing funnels and how to work in that space. So it's just really, I think where music intersects with AI is no different to the rest of, I guess, the world. It's almost it's got the potential to intersect everywhere. I just don't know if we or what we have to learn yet to understand where it's best at.

0:08:56 - Marina

This makes me excited and scared at the same time, hearing all the cases.

0:09:00 - Allie

Yeah, I was going to say because your eyes got wider and wider. Explain why.

0:09:07 - Marina

Well it's. I think it's so important to have the human element in it, and especially in music. If you're looking at the models that exist from Meta and Google and what they're able to do is incredible. I'm afraid for a future where we won't have artists, or we just will have some artists that feed in some new creative content, but mostly it's gonna be models spitting out the next Taylor Swift hit, because the advancements have been so crazy, so good. It's incredible from a technological standpoint, but then from a humane, creative standpoint, I'm also like where is this gonna go and how quickly are artists gonna be cut out of the process? If they will, I mean yeah.

0:09:53 - Allie

You're nodding, Angela.

0:09:54 - Angela

Yeah, I mean I guess I'm thinking of it, just putting my human hat on and not thinking about music for a minute. It is everywhere and my mom and I were having this conversation. She's in early childhood development and she's been taking these courses on kind of the new human and how our brain functionality and these younger generations are really gonna have to. They're programmed in a different way and so, yeah, just we're thinking about it in the context of music and tech, but it can be a little overwhelming, I think, when we're thinking about our own mental health and the human connection and emotions and that does translate into music, obviously, but there's kind of that human factor that we all wanna at least I would like to stay grounded in.

0:10:42 - Allie

Yeah, and I kind of to that end, I get the feeling overwhelmed I think probably a lot of people here do and I think, kind of to that end, I find a lot of solace and categorization. So I think it's important kind of, as we're talking, to distinguish between AI music and AI music-powered experiences. So, when it comes to AI music, let's start there what are you all thinking about? What does it mean for something to be AI music?

0:11:12 - Marina


0:11:13 - Allie

I feel, like yeah, I mean.

0:11:13 - Marina

I'll take it.

0:11:15 - Angela

I wanna hear what you have to say.

0:11:20 - Marina

Well, obviously it means a lot of things, but I think what comes to mind, or what people expect, is this fake Drake song was the first big blow up of a generated track.

0:11:33 - Allie

Is everyone familiar with the fake Drake song?

0:11:35 - Marina

Yes, Okay, cool, continue.

I mean, yeah, Drake's voice, The Weeknd's voice was used to sing over this track that someone created and that obviously led to a lot of conversation in the space like what is okay, what is not okay, what is ethical, what is not ethical?

But, as I just said a minute ago, the models that are out there are so incredible already. The question is just gonna be what are they gonna be trained on? Because the solution is not like what can't really happen, is that what's probably not gonna happen, is that everything just gets scraped. I mean, that's what's being done, but they need to be found a legal way to kind of, I guess, collaborate with the one with the IP holders here, and I'm very curious to see where that conversation goes and where those deals, which deals, are gonna be made. There's already a bunch of things in place where UMG is kind of working with YouTube a little bit on figuring out what's ethical use of AI on YouTube. But yeah, that's definitely super interesting what's happening and looking forward to seeing the collaborations that are gonna be put in place here.

0:12:50 - Angela

Yeah, I mean, I guess, when I think about AI music, I think it's really interesting that an entire track can be created using AI. So as you start to break apart the components, it's kind of like is it the production, Is it like a sample? There's been some really interesting examples of piecing together like VHS or like audio cassette files and translating them into digitized content and then layering those into a track right, a new track, and I think this could be giving creators new life if it's operationalized well. So I kind of think about, like, the percentage of the track and like is there a human element to it or not, or is it purely created by AI technology? You know IE in this functional music case.

So I think there's lots of variations, I guess is what I'm saying of AI music. So it is gonna get interesting to think about. You know, if there's policies around paying the original copyright holder, if this whole scrape the internet, like, are there gonna be guardrails around what tech is okay, you know if you're integrated with, and what tech is not okay? So yeah, I think that's gonna be interesting to watch.

0:14:11 - Con

Yeah, I'm gonna take a different angle and say where's the opportunities for it? Right, and I think the jury's out where the a hit is going to be created on AI in the short term. Longer term and you know, everyone's goal and scariness is general intelligence rather than just artificial intelligence, if it ever gets there right in terms of that. But I think for me it is we get a lot of different companies that are approaching us that aren't just streaming. So they might be MedTech, medical technologies, they might be background music services, gaming companies and things like that, and in those areas then they perhaps aren't looking for the next hit, they're actually looking for specific elements of music that actually create a medical outcome and they're going through clinical trials to do those sort of things.

So that's really interesting, because could AI music still maybe generated by an artist, an artist tweaking that create content for that industry? Is the music industry going to say that stay the sizes it is at the moment, or are we going to go with most predictions that music's going to become more deeper in all different parts of our lives? And then where does AI play a part in this role? So I think it can be a really defensive mindset to say does this mean that there's less share that goes out to traditional labels or it can be a very much of an opportunity mindset. I think BGM is a great example background music of that too. It's functional music in some cases. In some cases it's maybe a slightly more, but in those cases Perhaps that's a really interesting candidate to be able to generate music that is specific for a mood or a theme. Right, and we're obviously avoiding the whole question of how is it generated? Obviously, endel's doing it in a certain way, but there's lots of different companies out there.

0:16:17 - Marina

We always like, we have to, we have to. We have a deal with Universal Music and with Oneir Music, and Universal Music always called us the ethical AI company.

0:16:26 - Allie

What does that mean?

0:16:27 - Marina

Well, I mean it means that, like we take a really collaborative approach and that adds to bringing actually opportunities to labels and artists to go into a space that they have been able to go into not at scale, at least before. Like we're very specialized in functional music. We only really know functional music really really well and we can take artist's content and create a functional version of their content for them. And yes, in theory artists are able to do that. And I hear that sometimes. I hear that feedback sometimes from labels like, oh, our artists can just do this. I'm like good luck getting them to go to a studio and record a sleep album. It's not like it gets turned around quickly and we can do this at scale. So it gives an opportunity to move into a space that they're not really really in. And, yeah, and we're ethical because we're not scraping it. Like our technology fundamentally cannot learn from Taylor Swift's music because it's not scientifically made, it's not made for a specific function. Our technology is trained on hundreds of hours that our own and house composers created to train it. So that's what they mean by ethical.

It's like everything is very collaborative, the artists have sign off on everything and it's not no one goes into a chat window and says make a focus track, that sounds like Taylor Swift, and we have a bunch of people involved in the whole process on our side as well. So it was, yeah, also lucky for us that the market went where it went and there was a lot of pressure on the music side to do something, and we were kind of around already being like hello, we've been here for a while, like we've had this app for five years, we've been doing this like come work with us, and then, when the market was there, they had to move into something and we were lucky that we've already been there, kind of doing the same thing we've been doing like for many years. Yeah, and, as I said, everything's super collaborative, so that's why it's ethical, I guess.

0:18:21 - Allie

You're nodding.

0:18:21 - Angela

No, just agreeing. I think it's interesting.

0:18:25 - Allie

So I'm thinking about this as I'm sitting here. I'm thinking about this as a sort of nesting doll, the ones where you open it and there's another one inside. So I'm going to expand that out a little bit and we're going to open up another doll, if you will. Music discovery Right, I know it's something that has been tied to AI for quite some time. What role does it have? What role does AI have in changing how we discover music, and how granular can this really get? Con?

0:18:56 - Con

I think it's important to understand that AI in a discovery mechanism has been used for some time, right. I mean, nvidia really started off by being able to provide the capability for companies like Facebook to provide feeds through their information and personalised feeds at scale, right, so they're able to figure out how to get that large data in there and then make it available to be used in that particular way. And I would suggest that the word AI is interesting at the moment, and technically it's different, but the suggestions of what someone's going to listen to have always been important, and not only important they've been done. Every music service is suggesting music in some way.

I think what AI does, though it does allow you to look at an enormous data set and be able to understand the connections between that data set and give people some really unique experiences, so I think there's an awesome place for AI to play a role within there, right, and so for arguments, we're just starting to think about how does the data that we have in our data lake, which is the usage history of maybe one of our clients, start to actually form more of a role in what might be suggested to users or their music experience? With that, I mean, you can do it right now with genres and get a lot deeper than just genres, a whole bunch of other information to understand those cohorts. But AI, I think, really sets itself as something able to do that. I think that's a bit of a journey. I think there's a discovery process around ethical use, of which is the often question. I'm not sure if we'll come back to that later. Ali to understand that, I'm cool.

0:20:58 - Allie

I assure you we will be there for a while We'll come back. But I do want to focus on the experience part of this for a second, because I'd actually be really curious.

0:21:06 - Con

So a specific example you have of something that wasn't possible before but now is I think in experiments you can certainly use experimental models to actually throw clear text at something and actually get back lists of songs that make sense to play to someone right and that is available instantly. People could do it right now by using their prompt on there and I don't think that's ever been available to the general public before. The question is, how does it now play a role within a platform and get cleared to be able to be used and those sort of things? But outside of that, I think that the availability that you can ask a prompt I am driving down the beach on 22. I've got the convertible down.

I just feel like going rogue. Uh huh, you're going to get an answer right now. If you haven't tried it, try it. You're going to get an answer right now, and that hasn't existed previously. So how does that get translated within a service that actually makes sense for a user? Because now it's all based on a bunch of contexts that you can add into that process.

0:22:24 - Angela

Yeah, I mean, we've seen it already in different types of platforms. Right, it's like my morning commute or you know these technologies where it kind of like gets to know you based on your user behavior, kind of serves you things up. So I think it's just escalated where it's getting better and better and better, and I think we're also going to see it on like adjacent music, adjacent platforms, when we start talking about fans and artists and data and connecting the dots for experiences that are not only just audio experiences but also these fan connection experiences.

0:23:05 - Marina

I have to say I don't think it's getting better, I think it's getting worse. I think it's getting crowded, like I think Spotify is unusable. I'm sorry, no offense. I like and I've been paying for Spotify for 12 years. Like, I use it right.

0:23:19 - Angela

But I hate love it.

0:23:20 - Marina

I hate. Love it Like it has all the music, but I can find anything that I want to listen to, and so if everyone who's a parent which I'm not, but has probably made the experience that they just put on white noise or whatever for their kids to fall asleep to, and then all your algorithm is messed up.

0:23:38 - Angela

But isn't the point of it getting better the fact that you don't have to think about it anymore? Because, like for me, any service I'm not going to name any names but like any service, I find myself being like what do I want to listen to? And so I guess I'm curious. Maybe, I just don't get surfed.

0:23:58 - Marina

Like I just don't get surfed what I want to listen to and so I listen to the same playlist that I know that are good, that I've made myself, and I feel like that's not really the point. Yeah, I've been added with a bunch of people at Spotify. Well, like, where is my chat GPT inside Spotify that I can just type in I want this, this and this, and it makes me a playlist. I don't need someone serving me something that, yeah, at least I don't think it works. I don't think it works really well in regards to the stuff.

0:24:25 - Con

Isn't that the opportunity that it should know about you, that you are broader in your music discovery, and the interface and the music that you serve change Now, whether that is a big dial on your screen that you say I just want a wider music selection, I want to discover more, or I want to be more narrow in the time, or does it understand that more about you? I do think that there's the opportunity with this technology to get so much better at being able to do that, and I do agree with you. I think right now it's really easy to stay in this such a narrow lane. That doesn't tremendously change for me whether it's a Friday night or whether it's a Monday morning. Maybe it's going to offer me a go-to-work thing, but it thinks my musical tastes are the same. But are they the same? I'd argue that they're not Right. Yeah.

0:25:19 - Allie

Well, kind of to that end. Is the problem that it's prescriptive, or that it's prescriptive and bad. If it was prescriptive and good, would those kind of recommendations work?

0:25:31 - Marina

I mean they should.

0:25:33 - Allie

They have all the data.

0:25:34 - Marina

I actually really don't understand why it doesn't work and I'm telling you, I've had this conversation with a bunch of people at Spotify. I'm sure TIDAL is way better, so maybe. I should just like stop using that other service. But yeah, they have all my data. They should know what I want.

0:25:49 - Allie

You mentioned chatbots. This AI craze was kicked off with the so-called chat GPT moment. It sounds like you guys do believe there is a role for chatbots in AI and music.

0:26:03 - Con

Well, I think, at the end of the day, ai is really just a prediction of the next token or whatever it's doing behind the scenes. So in most cases, that's been the next word that's being provided, and people are converting even images to text and then understanding those from that traditional AI approach, so it's still very textual in the way that we think about it. I do think that I absolutely think that chatbots have a role. I think there's a lot of knowledge that you don't need a human on the other side of it, that you can assist someone with and you can get really good at doing that. How good is that intelligence? I think the early chatbots were pretty poor, right, and then we saw quite a jump with chatGVT and I think that's been the bit of the wow moment for people, that they sort of saw this pretty poor website experience with a chatbot that really didn't tell you anything except someone's going to call you through to something that now actually interacts with you and responds.

0:27:10 - Angela

Yeah, I mean, I think they definitely have a place, I think. For those who don't know me, I moved to Nashville two years ago and so I'm very passionate about supporting independent musicians and songwriters, and one of the things I hear a lot is just that they're overwhelmed by everything that they have to do. So I guess I think of it not only just in the creative context, but also in the operational context again for creators. So if there's ways for them to be more efficient, to figure out, or they're stumped on album artwork or they're in a session, they need something to generate some inspiration or spark something, I don't think there's anything wrong, as long as that hasn't been trained on previously copyrighted material, right. So I think that's kind of the line in my opinion, but I think creators need all the tools that they can in order to be successful. They have to free up their time so they can create, and I hope that these tools help them.

0:28:11 - Con

And it's interesting about the material too, and I totally agree on the copyrighted material. I think the interesting area is, though, opinion, and should opinion be part of a base model, and is there a problem with opinion being about? I don't see that, but I guess it's an open question that really, I'm sure, would have a lot of debate, because, ultimately, it's people's opinions that perhaps are forming. If we go back to recommendations, what might be recommended. I'm sure there's an understanding something of the music, but if you understand enough about people's opinions, then you actually start to get an understanding of what they want to do as well. So there's quite different ways, a few different ways, I think, to think about the problem and attack it.

0:28:56 - Marina

Yeah, marina. No, sorry, I was going to take it different direction.

0:28:59 - Allie

Totally fine. Well, for what it's worth, we have now gotten to the humans and ethics portion of this Con, per your request. The rest of the time, that is what we are talking about, just for you. I think the next question else is interested. I want to start with teenagers. What role do teenagers have to play here?

0:29:19 - Angela

Well, I can speak to being a mom of a 12 year old and watching these.

0:29:23 - Allie

Oh my.

0:29:24 - Angela

God 12? Yeah, it's frightening, and I know there's other parents in the room and some have children younger than me, and I feel like you know at least mine. I'm kind of seeing the technology develop. I think people who are younger it's going to get even crazier. I think they play a gigantic role.

I think, when we think about music and tech intersection, obviously there's the UGC content, there's monetization opportunities around that, and the intersection of how AI can serve them up recommendations, and they can engage and interact with it. So I think they're the biggest UGC users, probably. I also, though, think what's really interesting is teenagers are going to be overly critical. Right, this role of is AI music, good music. They're going to be the taste makers in this case, and I think that, even though they're going to be really interested in the technology aspect, because for them, it's kind of like instant grat, it's like how quick, you know, and if they're creators, especially like how quick can we turn something out, and like you know, they're going to whip through all of this tech craze, but at the same time, at the end of the day, if the music's not good, they're going to be hyper critical. So I think they're going to be like have a major impact not only on the output, like the creative product, but also the process, and you know how they engage with the content.

0:30:51 - Allie

Anything to add, guys?

0:30:54 - Marina

I mean they also. If you go on YouTube and you search for any like AI music, there's so much up there. Right there's still the Drake fake we mentioned, or fake Drake we mentioned is up there. There's like Frank Sinatra singing yeah, it doesn't matter, get lower lyrics and fake.

Drake, the Drake fake, but a lot of it like the younger generation, like all the teens, the early adopters of all these tools. I think a lot of the content that was created very early is like kids on Discord and it's quite interesting like it's, because, yeah, they jump on these trends but they're also like super critical if it's not good. So I would really agree.

0:31:34 - Con

And I think we mentioned earlier it's sometimes not just music but other forms of audio. So we power a service in Germany that is the, an audio children's audio book service, right, Really, for, say, three year olds through to about nine year olds or so, and it's the same concept in there. How, what's the experience for these people, for these children, in an audio book scenario, for these very young group, I think, as they're teenagers? I do think it's more community driven and what that community is doing and I do think there's. It'll be interesting to see how it does impact the creative process and if there starts to be opportunities in UGC platforms that there's probably a whole licensing piece that has to occur there. But what are the opportunities to actually create, to have more creativity in that space?

0:32:23 - Angela

And the last thing I was just thinking, too, like they're going to want regardless even if there's AI music out there and they're interacting with it, at the end of the day they still want that human emotional connection. So I think about live experiences, right? These are the ones that are disappointed that they can't get the Taylor Swift concert tickets for $400. Like you know, it's like mom only 400.

0:32:45 - Allie

Yeah there's.

0:32:45 - Angela

She's like get me a ticket. I'm like, no, I'm not spending that amount of money. But the point is like she doesn't want to listen to a fake Taylor Swift song. She wants to listen to the real one and go see Taylor Swift in concert.

0:32:57 - Con

Do you think there's no, do you?

0:32:58 - Marina

think there's no.

0:33:00 - Con

Same do you think there's an opportunity in places like Japan, where there's this concept of VTubers, right, that really don't have I'm going to say that I was going to say don't have a personality. They certainly do have a personality, but they don't have an image that they show. I think that's a really interesting one to say. Does AI potentially play a role? Because there's markets where it isn't that person that you see? Does that lend itself to be a highly experimental market first, to actually understand if it gets bite at that?

0:33:34 - Angela

level, I feel like that. I mean that market is always early and first on those things. So that is interesting.

0:33:40 - Allie

Well, and it seems like teenagers are interested in authenticity and it being good and kind of to that end. You know on the other side of the spectrum who are also interested at least in it being sellable. Are the majors Right? So what role do the majors have to play in this conversation?

0:34:03 - Con

I think ultimately that I mean yeah, I mean we obviously see what's happening in the market and various lawsuits and other things that are out there. So it's a high, highly, I guess, current topic without a lot of clarity there. Obviously, the majors play a huge role here because they do set a lot of the dialogue that can occur in a number of services and most of the larger ones, right. There's experimentation that probably you can do in some services where people own 360 degree deals and their niche services and they're definitely interesting to experiment with.

But I do think ultimately there's that question that I think is the same question that most people have, which is are you allowed to use what I perceive as my data? Right, and that's probably the million dollar question. I think we've probably got the same question here sometimes because we're saying does an organisation, can they profit on my data if I haven't allowed them to do that? Right, you allow TikTok to profit on your data because you've probably accepted the user agreement on that process, but maybe you don't want data that you haven't made publicly available in that particular way to do that. So I do think they're setting that dialogue and I think it's a valid point right in there.

0:35:43 - Marina

Yeah, so diplomatic Well. I was expecting something completely different to come.

0:35:50 - Con

And I do think technology is playing a role in how I mean let's tackle that later but just how that question can maybe get resolved in the future, because there's been some really interesting things come out recently. No, no I. How are you going to have a service in the market that doesn't have the content that the teenagers want? I don't think that's practical. But it's how to find that right balance between engaging users, allowing them creativity, and doing it in a way that everyone who owns the music comes along for the ride.

0:36:32 - Angela

No, I mean, I pretty much agree with everything you're saying and I think, because they're in a position to sort of set the tone, I'm glad that we're seeing it unfold now. I don't think we can wait, like the tech has gone, the ship has sailed, so I want to see what happens. I think, unfortunately, like the loss you mentioned, I'm sure that's going to take a long time, but at least there's a stance out there. And whether I agree with it or not is a whole other panel. But I think you're right, like they're in the position to set the tone and we have to.

I mean, let's be real, as people who work in music tech, at a music tech conference, like if we're wanting to be innovative, we want to kind of disrupt, we want to move forward, we're going to have to have those debates and we're going to have to be really open about it and we're going to have to figure out what makes sense. And I mean to be totally candid, like with the majors, I feel like on one hand, there's a lawsuit over a specific piece of tech because of the lyrics and the scraping. On the other hand, it's like they're partnering with your company to get into the business of functional music. So I think it's kind of like we have to have those open conversations with them and figure out how we make it work for everyone.

0:37:57 - Marina

I mean they can make or break a company like ours Like if we need these deals like a company like Endel. We can't make what we make. We can't make artist-driven functional music without the artists. A lot of the artist content sits with the majors. So I'm super grateful to UMG that they signed this deal with us when they did before, it was as on trend maybe, as it is now, and you can't imagine what happened to our inbox and what doors opened for us after that happened.

So people like to talk shit about majors all the time, I know. But they hold the IP and if they're bold enough to move into a certain direction, they can make or break certain companies, like us, for example. So for us it's a very positive thing that we're able to collaborate. But I'm always just so curious to see who's going to partner with who, because it's kind of the stamp of approval and if this big IP holder partners with this tech company, that's what they're going to be in bed together and trying to make something work in the space. So yeah, I'm just watching everything very curiously, like who's going to do what next in this space?

0:39:13 - Angela

And we've been talking about this for a long time and it's like now it's just here and so everyone's kind of just waiting to see who's going to make what moves. But I really do think it could be a positive thing. It's just kind of figuring out how to incorporate and have wins for everyone across the board.

0:39:29 - Allie

And on that optimistic note we'll end here, because I want to send you all the lunch. Thank you so much, thank you.

0:39:38 - Dmitri

Thanks for listening to Music Tectonics. If you like what you hear, please subscribe on your favorite podcast app. We have new episodes for you every week. Did you know? We do free monthly online events that you, our lovely podcast listeners, can join? Find out more at and, while you're there, look for the latest about our annual conference and sign up for our newsletter to get updates. Everything we do explores the seismic shifts that shake up music and technology, the way the Earth's tectonic plates cause quakes and make mountains. Connect with Music Tectonics on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. That's my favorite platform. Connect With Me, Dmitri Vietze, if you can spell it, We'll be back again next week, if not sooner.

Music Tectonics at NAMM 2023

Let us know what you think! Tweet @MusicTectonics, find us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, or connect with podcast host Dmitri Vietze on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

The Music Tectonics podcast goes beneath the surface of the music industry to explore how technology is changing the way business gets done. Weekly episodes include interviews with music tech movers & shakers, deep dives into seismic shifts, and more.


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