BMG partners with Technical University of Munich to create AI-driven music marketing campaigns

Credit: Bertelsmann/Kai-Uwe-Oesterhelweg
BMG CEO Thomas Coesfeld.

Germany-headquartered BMG is the latest music company to announce a partnership aimed at developing AI-driven technology.

The company announced on Tuesday (January 30) that it has struck a partnership with the School of Management at the prestigious Technical University of Munich (TUM) meant to “fast-track” deployment of AI tech throughout the company.

The first joint project between BMG and the school will focus on music marketing campaigns, specifically ways to harness AI to manage the various digital assets required for a global marketing campaign. Some campaigns require juggling as many as 700 separate digital assets, including artwork for streaming services, social media content, banners and advertising materials.

The project will be led by TUM School of Management’s Professor Dr. Jochen Hartmann, who founded the school’s GenAI Lab (and attracted significant attention in the summer of 2023 with a report that found OpenAI’s popular ChatGPT chatbot has a distinct left-leaning political bias).

“The core objective of this first phase of our work will be to demonstrate how generative AI can improve the creative efficiency and effectiveness of multi-modal marketing content,” Dr. Hartmann said in a statement.

Additionally, BMG will sponsor a two-year PhD position at TUM’s Professorship of Digital Marketing.

“GenAI’s impact on the music industry will be transformational, where human artistry is at the heart of it,” BMG CEO Thomas Coesfeld said in a statement.

“We are delighted to be partnering with a thought leader in the field of digital marketing, Professor Dr Hartmann. Together we believe we will continue to move the dial on the deployment of AI technologies in the music business to reach wider fan audiences more effectively.”

“GenAI’s impact on the music industry will be transformational, where human artistry is at the heart of it.”

Thomas Coesfeld, BMG

Johannes von Schwarzkopf, who was recently appointed Senior Vice President, Corporate Development at BMG, said the integration of AI into music marketing “is about more than efficiency; it’s about reimagining the creative process. AI offers us an unprecedented opportunity to change the way we market and experience music globally.”

“The corporate partnership with BMG reflects our commitment to fostering a dynamic exchange between the corporate world and our academic community,” said Professor Dr. Gunther Friedl, Dean of the TUM School of Management.

“By collaborating with renowned institutions and industry leaders such as BMG, we remain at the forefront of innovation.”

This isn’t BMG’s first venture into the AI space. In 2021, the company released an AI-completed version of Beethoven’s unfinished 10th Symphony, and AI tech is already integrated into BMG’s sync and royalty functions.

According to cloud technology solutions company Rackspace, BMG is now able to process royalties 10 times faster than it could previously, and track music 50% faster, thanks to its use of data-tracking solutions implemented by Rackspace that uses Google’s Cloud’s advanced AI.

“Thanks to advanced AI integration, we’ve seen a huge increase in data harmonization, analysis and processing velocity.”

Maxime Rousson, BMG

“Thanks to advanced AI integration, we’ve seen a huge increase in data harmonization, analysis and processing velocity. And now we can categorize music much faster, which helps us make better decisions on classification,” Maxime Rousson, Cloud Architect at BMG, said in a statement.

BMG’s new cloud-based platform will also support new data tools for its in-house music distribution.

“The world’s fourth-largest music company will use it to offer clients increased transparency and access to more detailed data,” Rackspace said.

BMG’s announcement comes as major recording companies work to integrate AI technology, both in back-of-the-office administrative work and in the creation of music.

Over the past year, Universal Music Group (UMG) has inked a number of AI-related deals, including a partnership with music creation platform BandLab “centered on empowering the next generation of artists, including within BandLab’s global community”.

In the spring of 2023, the company entered into “a first-of-its-kind strategic relationship” with generative AI sound wellness startup Endel to create what it calls “AI-powered, artist-driven functional music”.

UMG also formed an alliance with YouTube to jointly develop AI tools that offer “safe, responsible and profitable” opportunities to music rightsholders.

Artists from both UMG and Warner Music Group (WMG) are involved in a YouTube voice-cloning experiment dubbed Dream Track, which enables creators to use AI to clone the vocals of well-known stars, with their consent.

WMG’s indie distribution arm, ADA Worldwide, signed a global distribution deal last year with Boomy, a platform for the creation of AI-generated music. Warner Music France announced what it called “the first animated biopic of an artist using AI,” which will feature AI-generated vocals of legendary singer Edith Piaf.

WMG is also an investor in LifeScore, an AI music technology company that last year launched its own label, Kaleidoscope. Warner has also partnered with MediMusic, a UK-based health startup engaged in music as a therapy tool. MediMusic uses AI and machine learning to create evidence-based playlists tailored to individual patient needs.

Meanwhile, Sony Music has launched an AI-powered project featuring music from The Orb and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame. The company also hired its first-ever Executive Vice President for Artificial Intelligence last year.Music Business Worldwide

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