The use of AI as a creative tool for making music has left the fringes of the music business and is quickly entering the mainstream.
In November, Google-owned YouTube launched a new ‘experiment’ for Shorts called DreamTrack that lets creators produce music featuring the AI-generated voice and style of a few superstar artists including Alec Benjamin, Charlie Puth, Charli XCX, Demi Lovato, John Legend, Sia, T-Pain, Troye Sivan and Papoose.
Now SoundCloud has struck partnerships with three music technology companies to allow artists to directly upload songs created with AI tools to its platform.
Those three companies are Fadr, Soundful, and Voice–Swap. SoundCloud said in its announcement on Thursday (January 25) that the move “marks the latest milestone in SoundCloud’s efforts to empower artists on the platform”.
In tandem with this news, SoundCloud has announced that it is applying what it calls “new methods to prevent AI abuse and protect its artists by blocking AI bots from crawling its site and training models on its catalog”.
News of such preventative measures will likely be welcomed by rightsholders.
As rightsholders grapple with the copyright implications of generative AI’s rapid rise in recent months, DSPs blocking AI platforms from scraping material to train AI models with their copyrighted content is an intriguing development.
SoundCloud’s new AI creator partners include Soundful AI, which is aimed at content creators, artists, producers, brands, and creative agencies, and aims to let you create original music “in a couple of seconds using Artificial Intelligence”.
Soundful says that it is “powered by artificial intelligence algorithms that are human-trained and guided by music theory”.
Soundful recently confirmed an early investment round, which featured backers including artists, producers and managers like 3LAU, Axwell, Kaskade, Matteo Milleri (Anyma), Matthew Koma, Starrah, Chris Comstock, GUNNAR, Autograf, Jonas Tempel, and Steve Angello via one of his business ventures.
In addition, media executives investing in Soundful have included Tom Staggs, Neil Jacobson, Justin Kalifowitz, David Unger, Alex Harrow, Evan Baker, Carl Vernersson, Nick Jarjour, and Top Dawg Entertainment
MBW interviewed the founder of Soundful, Diaa El All, in May 2022. He told us: “Soundful’s mission is to empower every creator out there…This is about mass adoption. This is about empowering everybody to create music. Soundful is a tool for everybody to listen and create.”
In addition, SoundCloud’s new AI creator partners include Fadr, a platform that features various AI music tools like an AI-powered vocal remover, song splitter, key/tempo/chords detector, remix maker, mashup maker. It promises to give “anyone the power to create mashups and remixes of their own favorite songs regardless of their experience level”.
SoundCloud’s third and final AI creator partner is Voice-Swap, which allows musicians to “transform vocal stems using generative AI to match the style of licensed artist voices”.
Voice-Swap, which has over 115,000 users, says that every artist on its roster is officially licensed and is paid a 50/50 split for the use of their AI voice.
The new integrations, which will be available soon, allow artists to share newly created songs to SoundCloud via these platforms through a built-in “Upload to SoundCloud” option that will live inside each individual tool.
SoundCloud says that songs uploaded directly to its platform using these three AI tools will also be automatically tagged to indicate which tool they were made with, for example “Made with Fadr’ etc.
Artists will also be able to edit their newly uploaded tracks directly from their SoundCloud profile page.
SoundCloud is positioning the new integrations as “following in the footsteps” of past integrations with other third-party music-making tools such as Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) like GarageBand and FL Studio.
“At SoundCloud, we take pride in being ground zero for musical experimentation.”
Eliah Seton, SoundCloud
SoundCloud CEO Eliah Seton said on Thursday (January 25) that its new partners Fadr, Soundful, and Voice-Swap had been “selected intentionally” and “reflect the very best of what the industry has to offer in this arena: tools that open up new creative avenues and make artists’ lives a little bit easier”.
He added: “At SoundCloud, we take pride in being ground zero for musical experimentation. That’s why we’re home to what’s next in music,” said SoundCloud CEO Eliah Seton.
“AI is top of mind for us in this context, and we’re excited about how this technology can be applied to serve and empower artists.”Music Business Worldwide