Artificial intelligence (AI) is infiltrating the music industry, with AI-generated songs becoming increasingly common on streaming services. Spotify user Adam Faze recently discovered that the same 53-second recording, which sounds like the intro to a prestige television show, was being recommended to him under 49 different names and artists. The songs each had different titles and cover art, but the audio remained the same. Faze believes that all of the music associated with the label Sky Tech Distribution, which has 1,944 albums in its catalogue, is AI-generated. Spotify and Sky Tech Distribution did not respond to requests for comment.
The emergence of AI-generated tracks has led to concerns about the value of music from major labels. The more songs uploaded to music platforms, the more competition there is for user attention. Last month, Universal Music Group asked Spotify and Apple Music to block AI services from training their generative models on copyrighted music.
One theory is that Spotify is introducing AI-generated music onto its platform and boosting its discoverability through playlists that focus on passive listening. If users are satisfied with songs that can be generated at small costs and in large quantities, the platform would have less reliance on licensing original material from major labels. However, it is also possible that individuals or groups are creating cheap content en masse to earn money from collective streams.
It remains to be seen whether people will be duped into listening to music created by AI. Faze questioned whether the tracks were AI-generated immediately because “the songs were so bad. I didn't think a human would ever intend to make something like this.” As the nascent field of generative AI continues to develop, there does not appear to be an official company policy on uploading songs made with AI to Spotify's platform.