How would major music rightsholders react if the companies behind platforms like Spotify, TikTok or YouTube started creating hundreds of thousands of songs via AI technology – and then hosted and promoted these tracks on their services?
It’s a question that’s looking more and more like it might one day require an answer.
Last month, MBW reported that Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) – the owner of China’s largest music streaming platforms – had created and released over 1,000 tracks containing vocals created by its own AI tech that mimics the human voice.
One of these tracks, according to TME, has even surpassed 100 million streams.
Today (December 15), we’ve learned that Tencent isn’t the only significant music streaming provider that’s started creating stacks of songs created by artificial intelligence.
MENA-focused Spotify rival, Anghami, is now taking the concept to a whole other level – claiming that it will soon become the first platform to host over 200,000 songs generated by AI.
Anghami has partnered with a generative music platform called Mubert, which says it allows users to create “unique soundtracks” for various uses such as social media, presentations or films using one million samples from over 4,000 musicians.
Mubert’s tech takes these samples written by human musicians and sound designers, and then, using Artificial Intelligence, arranges them into finished tracks.
Now, Mubert’s technology is being combined with Anghami’s user data and algorithms to create thousands of AI-generated songs.
The partnership between the two companies is based around an in-app activation to create so-called “musical football cheers”, which Anghami explains will “help the region celebrate the sport’s biggest event”. (The FIFA World Cup is currently taking place in Qatar).
Exclusively available across the GCC area, the initiative lets Anghami users pick a country they’re “cheering for”, and then Anghami says its tech will generate a unique song for them informed by their user data. Those AI-generated songs are then hosted on the platform.
According to Mohammed Ogaily, VP Product at Anghami, the service has already “generated over 170,000 songs, based on three sets of lyrics, three talents, and 2,000 tracks generated by AI”.
“We complement the AI that generates the songs with our machine learning algorithms to match users with the closest genre, based on what music we know our fans listen to,” said Ogaily.
In other words, if you listen to a lot of hip-hop, the song generated for you could sound like a hip-hop track.
“We compliment the AI that generates the songs with our machine learning algorithms to match users with the closest genre, based on what music we know our fans listen to.”
Mohammed Ogaily, Anghami
Anghami claims that the project marks “the first time any company has generated such a volume of high-quality bespoke songs, employing AI and machine learning” and that soon, Anghami “will be the first platform to host over 200,000 songs generated by AI”.
Added Ogaily: “At Anghami, we pride ourselves on keeping ahead of the technology curve. Our growing audience across the region includes a massive amount of football fans. This, coupled with the fact that such a significant football event is being hosted in the region for the very first time, presented a great opportunity for us to try something new – to combine music, technology, and football.”
“When Anghami asked us to make a song-generation engine, we immediately agreed. This is a great opportunity to test our hypotheses.”
Paul Zgordan, Mubert
Paul Zgordan, Head of Music and Mubert Co-founder, added: “Generating tracks with vocals is something we have been thinking about for a long time. Voice adds liveliness to any composition, and increases listeners’ interest.
“However, with a generative approach, there are several difficulties. The vocals should fit into the groove and harmony, regardless of the genre chosen by the listener.
“So, when Anghami asked us to make a song-generation engine, we immediately agreed. This is a great opportunity to test our hypotheses and entertain fans from all over the world. Different genres are like different countries and cultures, but they are united by voice — a representation of the universal love for sports.”
MBW first explored the topic of AI-generated music last March, in which we analyzed the long-term implications of HYBE’s investment into (and subsequent acquisition of) Korea-based Artificial Intelligence company Supertone – which claims that its AI tech can create “a hyper-realistic and expressive voice [not] distinguishable from real humans”.
In addition to Anghami, HYBE and TME, TikTok and its parent company ByteDance also seem to be interested in AI music.
Back in July 2019, ByteDance acquired Jukedeck, a UK-based AI Music startup that specialized in creating royalty-free music for user-generated online videos.
In May, ByteDance launched Mawf, a machine-learning driven music-making app that analyses incoming audio signals and then “re-renders” those signals using what it says is machine learning models of musical instruments. ByteDance also recently launched a music creation app in China called ‘Sponge Band’ according to Tech Planet.
This year, as first reported by MBW, the company has been doubling down on its AI-powered music-making ambitions via a hiring spree for AI music experts.Music Business Worldwide