Hey Biz Talker’s! I guess we all knew that it was coming sooner rather than later. And now its Here! Meet the new AI powered robot rapper, “FN Meka”. Created by Anthony Martini, co-founder of the ‘virtual’ record label Factory New, FN Meka is voiced by a human but features tempo, lyrics chords and appearance all based on AI technology. Meka is the first signing by Martini’s label and now has 9 million followers and over a billion views on TikTok.
Martini’s philosophy is that rapping robots like Meka will eventually replace human artists because of the high quality of the technology behind the music. The thinking is that if the music is high quality, who is really going to care about how it was made?
There is no question in my mind that a rapping robot is a groundbreaking concept that will attract fans and earn money in the music marketplace. However, the million dollar question is-can AI powered recording artists actually replace human being recording artists? I suppose there is a possibility in view of how quickly and powerfully technology is advancing. Time will tell. I personally don’t feel that AI powered recording artists will ever completely replace human artists. I believe this for 3 primary reasons: 1. The AI that powers the robot artists is created and produced by human beings, 2. the human voice quality and the component of human emotion, passion and feeling that is so integral to high quality music as an art form cannot be replicated by a robot, and 3. the ability to relate to, see, experience and connect with another person which is critical to life in society cannot be replicated by AI. Ultimately, robot artists will provide fans more options to enjoy music, which is good for music as an art form. Also, the performance of FN Meka since being created clearly shows that AI created music can be successfully monetized. Stay tuned because the AI music revolution appears to be here to stay!
When we talk about music as an art form, we can’t forget about the NFT market craze which has been booming since late February and particularly in the music arena due to popular independent artists such as RAC, 3LAU and Deadmau5.
As far as the major record labels are concerned, they appear to be taking a cautious posture, trying to figure out the best way to maximize profit for themselves and their recording artists. This caution makes sense in view of the skepticism that NFT collectors have of corporate sellers like record labels, the environmental damage that can result due to the large amount of energy consumed by the blockchains that most NFT’s are written on, as well as the creation of unauthorized knockoffs which could significantly reduce the value of NFT’s sold by the labels.
Another cause for caution before diving into music NFT’s feet first is that fact that doing so is not a guaranteed goldmine for the labels or the artists. Although 3LAU”S NFT music release earned 11.7 million dollars, releases by Kings of Leon and The Weeknd have only earned 2 million dollars each. Industry experts have warned that in order to have a chance at making significant revenue, an NFT music release must be fashioned in such a way as to not merely take what has been dine traditionally and apply it to the digital space. As such, it is clear that whatever the major labels attempt to do to monetize music NFT”s is not guaranteed to reap huge dividends.
Although it’s easier said than done, I believe that the key to having success in the NFT music market will require-_1.a focus on earning revenue for the long term, and not the quick hit. Independent artists and the major labels must focus on an appealing product that leaves a lasting impression (like classic painting) and cannot throw the NFT’s against the wall like a pizza and hoping something sticks. After all, branding is critical in the music business, and you never get a second chance at a first impression, & 2. Recognizing that the consumers of NFT”s crave a work that they consider to be fine art. As such, the NFT music release must have features that go beyond a nice music video and produce art that is seen as a work that is a rare, one of a kind commodity that is worth keeping for years to come or sold later for high value (e.g. Tom Brady’s rookie football card). The music NFT must be as special as the audience that it is being sold to for it to achieve a high value. As I always say, time will tell where this is all going; but let’s strap in and get ready for a crazy ride into the future of the music industry!