YouTube Reportedly in Talks With Record Labels for Deal to Train AI Song Generator

YouTube Reportedly in Talks With Record Labels for Deal to Train AI Song Generator

YouTube is reportedly in talks with multiple record labels to strike a deal that will let it use copyrighted songs to train its artificial intelligence (AI) tools. The Google-owned platform is said to be working on several new AI features that it plans to release by the end of this year. Last year, the video streaming platform announced testing an AI song generator dubbed Dream Track for Shorts, however, it was never made public. The report now highlights that this deal could be for separate AI tools that can also generate songs.

YouTube exploring AI deals with record labels

According to Financial Times report, YouTube is already in discussions with three separate record labels to licence their songs. Citing people familiar with the matter, the publication states that the company had offered lump sums of cash to Sony, Warner, and Universal. It is said that the deal asks for the rights to use these copyrighted songs to train its AI models and to let it generate songs that might be similar in style to them.

However, this might be difficult to achieve. The report highlights that artists are not in favour of such deals as they fear it might undermine their talent and have a permanent impact on their careers, while the record labels appear to have a different opinion.

“The industry is wrestling with this. Technically the companies have the copyrights, but we have to think through how to play it. We don’t want to be seen as a Luddite,” the publication quoted an unnamed executive at a large music company.

Explaining the nature of these deals, the report claimed that YouTube would make a one-time payment to the record labels instead of paying a royalty-based fee that Spotify and Apple pay. Further, the video-streaming giant is unlikely to get a blanket licence with a record label, the report stated. Instead, it is said that the company might get only access to songs of select artists who agree to be part of this deal.

While last year, YouTube announced its testing of Dream Track, an AI-powered song generator that was aimed at its vertical video format Shorts, this deal is said to be for separate AI tools. However, the functionality will remain the same. The company is reportedly looking to onboard dozens of artists to train its AI models that are planned to be released later this year.

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