The integral role AI will play in revolutionising the music industry

Posted by:
Sunayana Thakur

Publish Date:
16 Sep, 2021

Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles featured at the launch of MTV in 1981. This iconic moment heralded the arrival of video in music, and in some way, the sunset of the legacy radio.

In 40 years, the industry has evolved to a whole new level. MTV paved the way for YouTube and lost its music patronage in the mid-2000s when it underwent a complete content makeover.

The Internet took over.

Controversial Napster gave way to legitimate YouTube. Podcasts and streaming playlists emerged with the advent of the “now & here” generation. A barrage of content hit the floodgates as music labels pursued the race to reach audiences across the globe, across demographics and genres with fresh and new content.

The big four — Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA) — simplified access to music with Siri, Google Voice and Alexa. Music labels have been finding new tie-ups for music to be discovered at every touchpoint. Be it in your gym, on your social network, in your car, at the retail spaces you visit, almost everywhere. And while consumer reach and content creation are commodified, recommendations are not the only output coming from data and artificial intelligence (AI).

To those who are taking notes, a new generation of music is emerging: AI is taking life.

Synthetic Content

The symphonies of masters like Bach and Mozart can now be trained to data science models in no time. And new compositions can be created with permutations unheard of. Music notes are being polished, enriched with moods, easily stripped and mixed and mastered, without any toiling and helping compositions roll out virtually, easy, and fast.

Virtual Artistes

Robots are taking shape that can also sing these compositions like artists, with growing finesse. Erica is the first humanoid to feature in a sci-fi movie called b. There are robots playing instruments and leading orchestras, getting better by the day with every symphony created and trained. Vocaloids like Hatsune Miku are pairing up with real artists like Lady Gaga. Miku is a Vocaloid software voicebank developed by Crypton Future Media and its official anthropomorphism, a 16-year-old girl with long, turquoise twintails. On this day, she is a sold-out artiste for her performances.

Entertainment on Virtual Social Platforms

While content creation is rife with novelties of AI, content distribution is not far behind. The touchpoints are transforming into digital places. Stores are striving to create immersive experiences. Online gaming is a new social gathering that is ready to host gigs. The young gamers are busy creating their virtual identities, places, environments and exploring experiences while being connected socially. To capture the mood of these users, spatial audio and virtual artiste will see a rise, and fandom will change its meaning yet again.

Gen Z as customers

Coming back to the present, the music industry is pushing the envelope every year, evolving into the next buzzword in digitalisation. According to Goldman Sach’s the number of paying subscribers to music streaming services would hit 1.15bn by 2030.

And that’s why we are all trying to pace with Gen Z. MTV still retains a hefty 750 million subscriber base and is trying to recreate its legacy and re-connect with the audience. YouTube has diversified into a streaming music service. So far, it cannot match Spotify's comfortable positioning as a playlist hero, but the sea of video content that it holds promises it to ace higher. Now, access to music in any streaming service has been eased with voice recognition. In days to come, with certainty, wearables tuning into our day-to-day emotional states will make this access pre-emptive.

Cross-industry offerings

The crossroads of entertainment and other industries are merging. Music is being produced for health and fitness. Music start-ups with a team of talent, including musicologists, data scientists, engineers, and DJs, are using AI to analyse the “vibe” of music and create recommendations based on factors such as someone’s hobbies, interests, and even where they grew up. Personalised music experiences for each of its users is helping them cope with some of the most challenging symptoms of dementia, including agitation, anxiety, and loneliness.

Music in educational technology (Ed-Tech) is progressively redefining how our children will learn music. The Ed-Tech market itself is estimated at $250bn by 2022. For students of music and new musicians, artificially intelligent education technology (AIED) can help hasten learning and provide more creative ideas. This will help musicians create many more new songs. Assessment, monitoring, recommendations with AI and machine learning (ML) tools are already core to many Ed-Tech platforms.

Future of Media Buyers

With content creation simplified, traditional buyers like TV and radio will diversify to focus less on licensing and centre their attention on adopting a complete content to customer model. The distance between broadcasters, content creators and digital platforms will shrink further. Deloitte envisions a universal marketplace available to the digital customer. Broadcasters and content producers can no longer rely on their present market position. To secure their business models and future revenue streams, they must open themselves up to cooperation and alliances, including direct competitors. Joint production, joint distribution models, and even collaborative platforms are suitable ways of countering the threat from digital platform providers such as Netflix, Amazon, Apple, or Google.

At this amalgamation of time and technology, the question is rife: Can music continue to be the food of love in the new virtual world?

Invenio has been associated with and delivering solutions for the world’s biggest music company and record label for the last 12 years. It continues to envision a league of possibilities as the industry moves forward in the digital trajectory from digitally transformed to being AI and virtual ready.


Credits and References:

MTV marks 40th anniversary with a new 'Moon Person' design (

More than 10 million people watch a Virtual Concert

Muru Music Health Case Study | Google Cloud

AI emerges as new teacher for music education in China - Nikkei Asia

AI creates Beethovents unfinished 10th symphony

Bach to the future: AI meets classical music

Future of TV and Video

Erica the Robot Movie Star

Hatsune Miku

Blog Author

Sunayana Thakur

AVP, AI Analytics Solutions & Digital Transformation

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