New Beatles Song Shows AI Opportunity for Music, Citigroup Says | Tech News

New Beatles Song Shows AI Opportunity for Music, Citigroup Says

The production of a new Beatles song using artificial intelligence shows the technology presents opportunities, not just risks, for companies like Universal Music Group NV, according to Citigroup Inc. analysts.

By:BLOOMBERG
| Updated on: Jun 16 2023, 09:47 IST
Beatles
The Beatles are gearing up for the release of their last record, which has been created with the help of Artificial intelligence (AI). (REUTERS)
Beatles
The Beatles are gearing up for the release of their last record, which has been created with the help of Artificial intelligence (AI). (REUTERS)

The production of a new Beatles song using artificial intelligence shows the technology presents opportunities, not just risks, for companies like Universal Music Group NV, according to Citigroup Inc. analysts.

Singer Paul McCartney told the BBC this week that AI had been used to “extricate” John Lennon's voice from an old demo so he could complete a “final” Beatles song. The development suggests record companies will be able to mine historic master recordings for new content, analyst Thomas A Singlehurst wrote in a note to clients.

The tools “will be helpful for the legacy recorded music companies in terms of letting them ‘sweat' historic assets harder,” he added.

Citi expects the risk-reward from AI to be “fairly balanced,” and holds a neutral rating on UMG. Bloomberg News has reached out to UMG for comment.

AI-generated music has been criticized by some members of the industry, who say artists and rights owners may be denied compensation if bots use their songs to produce content. Universal, the record label for Taylor Swift and The Weeknd, has said the training of generative AI using its artists' music represents a breach of its agreements and a violation of copyright law.

Earlier this year, a song called ‘Heart on My Sleeve,' created by an unknown TikTok user with AI-generated vocals from Drake and The Weeknd went viral after being uploaded on streaming services. Country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton has called on legislators to prevent AI from impersonating music artists.

But while AI risks increasing the volume of music available to consumers, the Beatles development adds another dimension to the discussion, according to Citi's Singlehurst.

“It highlights that the debate around risk/opportunity from AI for music is more nuanced than perhaps the ‘Loser vs. Winner' basket debate may suggest,” he added.

UMG shares were down 0.2% to €20.04 as of 1:57 p.m. in Amsterdam. Citigroup's price target of €23.50 implies a 17% upside to the stock from current levels.

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First Published Date: 16 Jun, 09:13 IST
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