25% of music producers are now using AI, survey says – but a majority shows strong resistance

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A quarter of music producers are now using AI in their craft – although a significant majority show signs of resistance to the technology, over fears of losing creative control.

That’s according to a survey from Tracklib, a platform that provides licensed samples and stems for use in music production.

The survey found that 25% of producer respondents are now using AI in the creation of music, although a large majority of those (73.9%) use it primarily for stem separation. Less than half (45.5%) use it for mastering and EQ plugins, while much smaller percentages use it for generating elements to use in songs (21.2%), and very few use it to create entire songs (3%).

Of the three quarters not using AI, a large majority (82.2%) cite artistic and creative reasons (for example, “I want my art to be my own”) while 34.5% cite quality reasons, i.e., AI music is simply not good enough. Smaller percentages cite cost (14.3%) and copyright concerns (10.2%) as their reasons for not using the technology.

There is also a large divide between perceptions of “assistive AI,” which aids in the music creation process, and “generative AI,” which directly creates elements of songs or entire songs.

The survey found that a majority of respondents hold a negative view of generative AI, with only single-digit support for the technology. A larger share – though less than 50% – hold a positive view of assistive AI.

Source: Tracklib Music Producer Survey 2024

Interestingly, generative AI was most strongly opposed by the youngest respondents, while assistive AI was most strongly opposed by the oldest respondents.

Willingness to pay for AI technology was low across the board, with nearly three-quarters of those who use AI tools using only free tools. The highest willingness to pay was among “beginner” producers, although they also have strong resistance to paying a lot, with very few willing to pay $25 or more per month.

Source: Tracklib Music Producer Survey 2024

Overall, 70% of respondents said they expect AI to have a “large” or “massive” impact on music production in the future, while 29% said they expect it to have “some” impact. Only 1% said they expect it to have no impact.

Tracklib recruited 1,107 self-identified music producers for the survey, although only 10% of them were classified as “professionals” who produce music as their full-time job. Fifty-eight percent were identified as “ambitious,” meaning they plan to make producing their career, while the remainder were categorized as “beginner” or “hobbyist” producers.

Among the survey respondents, 54% were from the European Union or United Kingdom, 34% hailed from North America, and 12% were from the rest of the world.

Despite the apparent resistance of a majority of producers to AI tech, Tracklib indicated that it sees continuing adoption of the technology going forward. The company said music AI is currently in the “early majority” phase of adoption.

That derives from a sociological model of technology adoption that divides the take-up of new technologies into five phases: Innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.

In a survey carried out last year, DIY distributor TuneCore and its parent company, Believe, found that 27% of indie music artists had used AI in some capacity as of that point.

That survey of 1,600 self-releasing artists found that, of those artists who had used AI tools, 57% had used it to create artwork, while 37% said they had used it to create promotional assets, and 20% had used it to engage with fans.

About half of the respondents had expressed willingness to license their music for machine learning, while a third expressed willingness to grant consent for their music, voice or artwork to be used in generative AI.

Founded in 2018, Stockholm-based Tracklib boasts a library of more than 100,000 songs from 400 labels and publishers. Earlier this year, it launched Sounds, which expands the platform’s offering to include a library of royalty-free loops and one-shots. The feature is available to its paying subscribers.

In 2021, Tracklib told MBW that it had raised USD $21.2 million in funding to date, from investors including Sony Innovation Fund, WndrCo,  former NBA player and producer Baron Davis, and Spinnin Records co-founder Eelko van Kooten.Music Business Worldwide

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