Spotify removes AI-generated music

The ongoing battle between the music industry and artificial intelligence (AI) continues as Spotify removes AI-generated music. According to a report by the Financial Times (FT), the music streaming platform has removed 7% of songs created by the AI music startup Boomy, amounting to “tens of thousands” of songs. Spotify is also said to be increasing its policing of the platform in response to the situation.

This action by Spotify comes after the platform and other streaming services received complaints of fraud and clutter on the platform. The music industry giant Universal Music Group (UMG) alerted streaming service providers of “suspicious streaming activity” on Boomy tracks, according to FT sources. UMG’s alert led to the removal of the Boomy songs due to the suspected “artificial streaming” of bots posing as listeners, said Spotify. The company also commented, “Artificial streaming is a longstanding, industry-wide issue that Spotify is working to stamp out across our service.”

Representatives from Boomy said the platform is “categorically against” all manipulation or artificial streaming of any kind. However, Lucian Grainge, CEO at Universal Music Group, commented to investors that “The recent explosive development in generative AI will, if left unchecked, both increase the flood of unwanted content on platforms and create rights issues with respect to existing copyright law.”

Last month, UMG emailed streaming services, including Spotify, to block AI services from accessing music catalogs for training purposes. UMG has also sent requests “left and right” to remove AI-generated songs from platforms.

While music industry giants are fighting to control AI-generated content, some artists like Grimes are championing its use. The musician permitted creators to use her voice and be a “guinea pig” for AI music creation, as long as a small set of rules were followed and royalties were split.

In conclusion, the issue of AI-generated music and fraudulent streaming activities is a long-standing problem in the music industry. As the technology continues to develop, it is likely that music industry giants and streaming services will increase their policing of the platform. However, some artists are embracing AI as a new way to create music, and it will be interesting to see how the industry adapts to this new technology in the coming years.


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Music streaming platform Spotify expands its Web3 efforts

The music streaming giant Spotify is increasing its focus on Web3 by conducting trials of token-enabled playlists in a number of important locations.

On February 22nd, Overlord, a Web3 game platform, made the announcement that it will be partnering with Spotify. People who have Creepz nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on Spotify may now access the token-enabled community-curated playlist from Overlord by using their Web3 wallets. This feature was previously only available on Spotify. The playlists can only be unlocked by those who use Android and come from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, or New Zealand.

In addition, members of the Fluf, Moonbirds, and Kingship metaverse communities are taking part in the trial project for a period of three months. Although Fluf and Moonbirds have not disclosed any information on their partnership with the streaming service to the public, Kingship has stated on Twitter that it will be participating in a pilot. Users need to have a Kingship Key Card NFT in order to open the tracklist, which include popular songs from artists such as Queen, Missy Elliott, Snoop Dogg, and Led Zeppelin.

The news caused a significant increase in the number of Web3 music tokens. For instance, the value of Viberate’s (VIB) native token increased by 33 percent. The value of other tokens, such Audius (AUDIO) and Rhythm (RHYTHM), increased by 4% and 2.5%, respectively.

In May 2022, Spotify started conducting experiments using NFT galleries on the profiles of artists. The users were able to see the artists’ NFTs and then be routed to the OpenSea website where they could buy the things, despite the fact that there was no possibility for direct purchase on this platform.

One of the most rapidly developing industries for cryptocurrency use is still the music industry. A collaboration between the value-for-value podcasting platform Fountain and Zebedee was announced in the end of January. This cooperation would allow Bitcoin (BTC) micropayments for podcast listeners. The royalties rights to Rhianna’s popular song from 2015, “Bitch Better Have My Money,” were included in a collection of 300 non-functional tokens that were put up for sale in February.


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Spotify Says Testing New Feature to Allow Artists Promote NFTs

Spotify announced on Monday that it is testing a new feature that will allow artists to promote their non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on their profiles.

The Swedish audio streaming and media services provider said that the new option is only available for a “very small group of artists.” The firm stated that the test is currently available to a select group of Android users across the US.

Users who are part of the test will be able to preview NFTs via an artist’s profile page. They will then be able to tap through to view and learn more about specific NFTs and choose to buy them from external marketplaces.

Spotify mentioned that it is not applying any fees for NFT sales as part of the test. The company clarified that it is just testing a way to allow artists who are selling NFTs to promote them on its service. According to Spotify, the data will assist in deciding whether to launch a full feature for all artists.

Spotify said that it is conducting the test in response to requests from its industry partners. The company further mentioned that the test is part of its continued commitments to enable artists to deepen their connections with fans both on and off its platform.

In a statement, a Spotify spokesperson said: “Spotify is running a test in which it will help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles. We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences. Some of those tests end up paving the way for a broader experience and others serve only as an important learning.”

Blockchain in the Music Industry

In March this year, Spotify announced plans to add blockchain technology and NFTs to its streaming service. The music streaming giant posted two job adverts that showed its intent to hire people to work on the early stages for Web3 projects.

With the new venture, Spotify is assessing how it could develop its cryptocurrency or NFTs to regulate how record labels and artists get paid for their albums and songs.

The proposed system is leveraging blockchain technology to create a shared ledger of rights and royalties between music labels, musicians, and other players in the music industry.

Streaming services play an important role in human lives. As far as music is concerned, Apple Music, YouTube, and Spotify have become inseparable from the music industry. Blockchain-based platforms and NFTs have become a vital aspect that leverages the way such services (Spotify, YouTube, and others) stream songs to benefit artists on their platforms.

NFTs can represent anything of value, ranging from a piece of art to a song and beyond. Their non-fungible nature means that every token is different, therefore allowing ownership rights to be preserved on the blockchain.

By using blockchain technology and NFTs, Spotify can further enhance its streaming services to help both users and artists get more out of them.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Spotify Intends to Add NFTs to Streaming Service: Report

Spotify, a Swedish audio streaming and media services provider, appears to plan to add blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to its streaming service. - 2022-03-18T152853.852.jpg

The firm recently posted two job openings that indicated that the streaming company is exploring the possibility with Web3.

Spotify is currently seeking to recruit people to work in the early stages for “Web3” projects. According to the ad statement by the company: “The hiring of Spotify in the sector seems to be in the first phase of exploration. A vacancy asks for an engineer for its experimental growth team. The full-stack small team that will be responsible for driving growth through new technologies, such as Web3.”

Spotify also has another job offer that looks for a manager in the Innovation and Market Intelligence group. The job posting said: “The streaming company is looking for a candidate with experience in the content, creator, media, Web3, and emerging technology industries” to assist Spotify in defining Moonshots, a term for ambitious new projects.

Spotify is the latest giant in the tech space seeking to make NFT a part of its streaming service to enhance better offerings, increase artist earnings, and make a step ahead in the competition in the crypto space.

However, the company has not commented on the latest developments.

Optimizing Streaming Capabilities

The move signals that Spotify’s interest in blockchain technology is significantly rising. Three and a half years ago, the firm first expressed its interest in that area by acquiring a startup called Mediachain Labs. Spotify acquired the Brooklyn-based blockchain startup Mediachain Labs, whose team joined the company’s office in New York to work on developing better technology for connecting artists and other rights holders with the tracks hosted on Spotify’s service.

Before the acquisition, Spotify had developed several technologies that could assist in such efforts, including a decentralized, peer-to-peer (P2P) database to connect applications with media and its information, including an attribution engine for creators, and a cryptocurrency that rewards creators for their work.

A few years ago, Spotify invested $10 million in Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency and became one of the founding members of the Libra cryptocurrency initiative.  

Every global digital subscription service (such as music or other things) is carefully watching the cryptocurrency and digital payments space. Spotify is hiring people to help it figure out what to do with such emerging technologies.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Music in the Metaverse creates social and immersive experiences for users

The Metaverse is quickly becoming one of the biggest trends of 2022. Recent data found that the metaverse sector currently has a market capitalization of over $26 billion. While impressive, new capabilities are also being added to virtual worlds to create more immersive experiences.

For example, metaverse communities that cater to creatives are starting to unfold, allowing users to customize their own interactive experiences. Although this is still an emerging concept, the incorporation of music appears to be one of the defining characteristics of social metaverse environments.

Music as NFTs

For instance, music in the form of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) is starting to be used in a number of virtual ecosystems to offer social experiences for both artists and fans.

To put this in perspective, Fluf World — a metaverse community consisting primarily of 3D-avatar rabbits — relies heavily on music to create user experiences. Brooke Howard-Smith, co-founder of Fluf World, told Cointelegraph that its metaverse was launched in August 2021 as a platform for creators, artists and musicians to connect using NFTs. Howard-Smith explained that there is a “scenes and sounds” feature that enables community members to combine different soundtracks and backgrounds with their avatar NFTs:

“Users can add a background behind their avatar that serves as a different location, many of which we are building in our part of the Metaverse. A user’s 3D-animated rabbit can also move to different music soundtracks that a user chooses to incorporate.”

Although the concept may sound complex, Fluf World uses a variety of multimedia NFTs to allow users to customize their Metaverse experiences. “This week Fluf World is launching phase 1 of their ‘Burrows,’ a metaverse space within Fluf World where soon, avatars will be able to walk around and hear other Avatar’s music when their ‘proximity feature’ is turned on. You can also see a visual representation of their music called a Nimbus floating near their avatar when you approach them,” Howard-Smith explained.

Fluf World 3D avatar rabbit. Source: Fluf World

At the same time, a number of benefits for artists and fans also emerge from this model. For example, “Gino The Ghost” — a grammy award-winning producer and multiplatform songwriter — told Cointelegraph that he is a metaverse music executive for Fluf World. Gino said that he was initially drawn to the project through its incorporation of music, explaining that audio NFTs offer musicians a new way to package music as a crypto asset. He added that sound clips living on a blockchain network solve a number of problems for musicians:

“The sobering reality is that music labels are making more money today than ever before through streaming platforms but producers and songwriters are making considerably less. For instance, 100 million streams only generate $7,000 dollars if you own about 30% of a label and most individuals earn much less. Royalties are also paid slowly and you need to audit publishers to see if income is accurate.”

With these challenges in mind, Gino said that music NFTs enable artists to generate instant income that is controlled directly by an artist without any intermediaries. In regard to fans, Gino said that those who own music NFTs are not only investing in their favorite artists but are also capable of using those soundtracks to create their own remixes. “Creatives can consume music and do different things with the soundtracks,” he said. In turn, users are also able to sell their unique music NFTs to generate revenue.

It’s also interesting to point out that music NFTs can come in the form of digital wearables. For example, wearable music NFTs were recently launched on The Dematerialised, an experimental marketplace for digital fashion. The collection known as “Defend the Metaverse” was created by Teflon Sega, a singer and producer who claims to have been born in the Metaverse. The different NFTs that are available come in the form of t-shirts, sunglasses and shoulder plates and feature a 15-second sound clip from Teflon Sega’s music video, “Unreal Engine.”

Teflon Saga shoulder plate. Source: The Dematerialised

Sega told Cointelegraph that he believes that the relationship between music and fashion has always been very close. “The two intertwined creative cultures have often played off of each other in music videos, which is why it felt so natural to release the outfits and props from my own music videos into the world as wearable NFT’s,” he remarked. Sega added that this year, he thinks people will be introduced to new features that allow for self-expression within metaverse environments. “Whether it be music, fashion, entertainment or storytelling, all forms will have no limitation aside from one’s own creative boundaries.”

In addition to music NFTs, decentralized audio files are also being used to personalize metaverse environments. For example, Audius is a music streaming service built on the Solana blockchain that is partnering with different metaverse platforms. 

Roneil Rumburg, CEO and co-founder of Audius, told Cointelegraph that anyone is able to pull content from the Audius platform due to its decentralized nature. “Fans and developers are running this ecosystem for the benefit of everyone. Therefore, anyone can build using our platform,” he said.

According to Rumburg, Audius music files were initially applied in gaming metaverses but recently, the platform has partnered with the real estate NFT project “Ethereum Towers” and Solana-powered “Portals Metaverse” to provide streaming music. “Portals Metaverse allows users to play their own choice of music within their room inside the Metaverse through the Audius API. The community has even built an Audius lounge for concerts,” explained Rumburg.

Rumburg further noted that while Audius provides a catalog of decentralized audio files combined with metadata, some developers have built wrapped NFTs around Audius files. “We are just a decentralized repository of content without rights, so third-party developers can pull from the platform’s catalog without any issues.” As such, Rumburg explained that the main benefit of Audius in the context of the Metaverse is that developers can freely pull content without being sued by third parties. 

Related: Blockchain streaming platform Audius announces Solana NFT integration

Metaverse music: Here to stay or just a trend?

Although the concept is relatively new, industry experts believe that music for metaverse environments will continue to gain traction. Sebastien Borget, chief operations officer and co-founder of the Sandbox — a popular gaming metaverse ecosystem — told Cointelegraph that he believes music will be used more often. “It’s defining a new format of entertainment beyond music clips. It’s more social and immersive,” he said. Sticking to this trend, the Sandbox recently announced a partnership with Warner Music Group to create a musical theme park and concert venue within the platform.

Famous musicians are also becoming more involved with NFTs. American singer and songwriter John Legend recently announced his involvement in launching an NFT music platform that will allow artists to tokenize and sell their work. In addition, American rapper and songwriter Snoop Dog recently announced that he is a Fluf World holder by


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NFT music platforms to disrupt Spotify in 2022, Saxo Bank predicts

As popular music streaming services like Spotify cut much of musicians’ revenues, new technologies like nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are likely to help artists grab back their fair share, Saxo Bank predicted.

According to one of Saxo Bank’s Outrageous Predictions 2022: Revolution, music creators would benefit from NFT-based streaming platforms as they allow distributing music directly to listeners without centralized middlemen charging a fee.

Saxo Bank’s cryptocurrency analyst Mads Eberhardt argued that mainstream music streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music take a substantial cut, which together with the cut paid to labels is some 75% or more of the total revenue.

“These models don’t guide individual subscribers’ fees to the actual music an individual subscriber listens to,” Eberhardt stated, adding:

“The use case for NFTs could prove particularly compelling in the next step for the technology for content generators in the music industry as musicians feel unfairly treated by the revenue sharing models of the current streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.”

The analyst noted that NFT-based music streaming projects are likely to start kicking off in 2022, including initiatives like Audius, a blockchain music platform backed by Katy Perry, The Chainsmokers and Jason Derulo. Based on blockchain, the Audius platform is a decentralized music-sharing and streaming protocol designed to cut out the middleman from the music industry and allow fans and creators to interact with each other directly.

In contrast, the future of traditional streaming platforms like Spotify is “bleak,” according to Saxo Bank. The company predicted that Spotify shares would tumble 33% in 2022. SPOT has already been dropping in 2021: starting the year around $300, Spotify shares dropped to as low as $204 in August, according to data from TradingView. At the time of writing, SPOT is trading at $229.

In the meantime, Spotify’s revenues have been steadily growing over time, reflecting much potential for NFT-based music platforms to disrupt. According to Spotify’s official 2020 financial results, the company generated 7.85 billion euro ($9.5 billion) revenue last year, a 16% increase from 2019. Spotify’s financials continued growing in 2021, with the total amount of monthly active users surging 19% year-on-year to 381 million in Q3 2021.

Source: Business of Apps

Related: NFT music marketplace Royal raises $55M in Series A round

As previously reported, Spotify has been paying attention to the cryptocurrency industry, looking for talent with a crypto background in late 2020. The firm is also well aware of the rise of NFTs as it mentioned NFTs in its Spotify Wrapped 2021 compiled for users on Dec. 1, 2021.

Spotify did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.