AI Assisted Music Isn’t the Problem-Its the Distribution and Monetization

September 10, 2023
2 min read

There's been much talk about the music industry and artificial intelligence in music. I want to explore this alongside the original purpose of music. Contrary to a believe that 'a song' is a moment-in-time recording, I am convinced music is alive and always evolving. From ancient bards passing down tales orally, to modern algorithms generating music, it reflects its time, carrying cultural nuances and societal shifts.

Before the advent of writing, stories and songs were shared orally. Each storyteller or bard added their unique flair, ensuring that no two renditions were ever truly identical. However, with the introduction of the likes of writing and audio recording, stories and songs became standardised. This allowed the artists to reach wider audiences, preserving cultural narratives and fostering shared understanding. But in doing so, the ever-changing nature of music was lost.

Later, artists used technology to give music their own spin. Breaking away from the standardisation, ever so slightly. By remixing and sampling they gave old songs new life and new audiences. It encouraged cross-genre and cross-cultural collaborations, keeping music fresh and relevant.

With advancements in AI, we're entering a new musical era where AI can create endless variations while adapting to cultural shifts. Both in composition and in recording, AI can cater to individual tastes and produce vast amounts of tailored music. Bringing back a certain malleability to music, even in its recorded form. Artists now release multi-language songs for global markets, recording in one language while AI seamlessly translates and 'sings' in another.

As we navigate this new musical landscape shaped by AI, it's crucial to strike a balance between tradition and innovation. Recordings have done more than just standardise storytelling; they've set a norm for how we experience music. From the days of piano rolls to today's streaming services, we've been presented with a consistent method to engage with 'standardised' tunes.

The challenge ahead isn't necessarily AI-assisted music—its presence is undeniable and here to stay. The real task is ensuring AI-supported musicians find their audience. We must optimise distribution and monetisation channels for this new evolution in music, ensuring that modern-day bards receive the support they need to keep the age-old tradition of storytelling alive.


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