Spotify Will Not Ban AI-Made Music, Says Boss
The boss of Spotify, Daniel Ek, has stated that the music streaming platform has no plans to completely ban content created by artificial intelligence (AI). Earlier this year, Spotify removed a track that featured AI-cloned voices of performers Drake and The Weeknd. Ek believes that there are valid uses of AI in making music, but it should not be used to impersonate human artists without their consent. He acknowledges that the use of AI in music will be a topic of debate for many years to come. Ek categorizes AI use into three “buckets”: tools that improve music (such as auto-tune), tools that mimic artists (which he believes are unacceptable), and a middle ground where AI-created music is influenced by existing artists but does not directly impersonate them.
While AI is not banned in all forms on the platform, Spotify does not allow its content to be used to train machine learning or AI models that can produce music. Artists are increasingly expressing concerns about the use of AI in the creative industries. Last month, Irish musician Hozier stated that he would consider striking over the threat of AI to his profession. Spotify has a large team dedicated to addressing these issues, as they have seen attempts to game their system in the past.
In addition to discussing AI in music, Ek also talked about Spotify’s investment in podcasts, including those from high-profile figures like Michelle and Barack Obama and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. He mentioned that some podcast deals have worked well, while others have not. Spotify recently challenged Apple as the market-leading podcast platform by taking on new creators. Ek also expressed his support for incoming regulations, such as the Online Safety Bill and the Digital Markets Bill, which aim to make the internet safer for children and improve competition among tech giants.
Spotify has been critical of the policies of Apple and Google’s app stores, which charge commissions on in-app purchases. Ek believes that these policies make it difficult for Spotify to communicate directly with its customers and promote its services elsewhere.