The news doing the rounds is that video content startup TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance has bought UK-based Jukedeck, a pioneering startup that creates music using AI. Jukedeck has developed a technology that makes it possible for the AI to interpret video, automatically set and generate music, allow the user to adjust the length and tempo, among other functionalities.
While the news hasn’t been confirmed from either company, Jukedeck’s website says that they are currently offline. “We can’t tell you more just yet, but we’re looking forward to continuing to fuel creativity using musical AI!,” the website says.
Also, the LinkedIn profiles of many employees including that of the founder mentions that they have been working for TikTok’s parent company ByteDance. The designation of founder and CEO Ed Newton-Rex mentions him as the director of its AI Lab.
How The Deal Will Benefit TikTok
It is well known that TikTok’s short-form videos are designed in a way to sync up to music, and if users could get more customisable tracks, it can offer them creative control to find the perfect beat for them. Jukedeck’s AI technology could fit here perfectly to offer the advantages of acquiring more users and help them save some money.
Currently, TikTok pays for all the music that users use on its platform. With the acquisition of AI music company, TikTok can save big time on the money that is spent on purchasing the music and licensing issues. The more royalty-free tracks that people use, the less TikTok has to worry about the record labels. It may also allow users to move their videos off-platform which they currently can’t avail.
The deal could also open up doors for creators to create their own piece of audio from scratch, using AI-powered by Jukedeck. Currently, users have to select and trim an existing piece of audio to get something of their liking.
What Would This Mean For Jukedeck?
The startup has raised a substantial amount of funding from investors like Cambridge Innovation Capital, Parkwalk Advisors, Backed VC and Playfair Capital to work on their AI technology.
While they had been working on improving their offerings, Newton-Rex has often talked about putting the power of music composition into the hands of the masses, which can be achieved efficiently with TikTok. With the wide popularity of the music app that has been downloaded more than 800 million times worldwide will provide a huge platform for Jukedeck to scale up its offerings.
He had said that as soon as AI understands a bit more about how to write music, the power can be put to a lot more people’s hands. People who aren’t classically-educated can play and tinker with music, which is really exciting, he had said. He had also suggested that AI can also give any individual the power to be a composer, stressing on twin goals of democratisation and personalisation.
How Is AI Disrupting The Music Industry
Since the last few years, AI has been automating music creation, helping lyricists write songs, offer personalised recommendations to users in an efficient way. Companies such as Spotify is using AI to sort through the options and deliver recommendations based on what a listener have listened in the past. Even AI-features such as Spotify’s Discovery Weekly helps the user to sort through a stream of music that is appealing to them.
There are other startups such as Amper that has an AI-music composition tool designed for businesses to make custom music for their projects rather than searching through stock libraries. It allows users to define key moments in their tracks so the music maps to their video and can choose from a plethora of styles and moods. That’s not all, it allows for easy editing, swapping instruments or changing the length and structure of music. It allows enterprise and non-enterprise customers to the platform to explore the tool.
There are others such as Google’s Magenta project, an open-source platform, that produce songs written and performed by AI, AI-based mastering services such as LANDR that provide musicians with a more affordable alternative to human-based mastering, and more.
These instances clearly suggest that the music industry in terms of creating music, stock music videos and writing songs are all being majorly disrupted by AI. Not that there is a fear of AI replacing humans anytime in the near future, it does indicate that AI has become a crucial part of the music industry and will continue to grow.