Spotify Tunes Out AI-Produced Songs


Spotify has reportedly pulled tens of thousands of artificial intelligence (AI)-generated songs from its platform.

The streaming service’s campaign, reported Tuesday (May 9) by the Financial Times (FT), comes amid an uptick in warnings of possible threats posed by AI.

According to the FT report, a source familiar with the matter says Spotify has removed around 7% of the songs uploaded by AI music service Boomy, or “tens of thousands” of tracks.

Another source said that Universal Music had notified platforms such as Spotify that it had seen suspicious streaming activity on Boomy songs. Those songs were pulled because of suspected “artificial streaming,” or online bots posing as human users to boost the songs’ numbers.

PYMNTS has contacted Spotify for comment but has not yet received a response.

The FT report notes that Universal CEO Lucian Grainge has warned against the proliferation of AI songs. He told investors last week 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.”

This is playing out at a time when many companies are embracing AI, even as academics, researchers and technologists warn about its danger without proper regulation.

“After a brutal 2022 which saw sweeping headcount reductions and stock routs, many of the biggest tech companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet and Meta, are doubling-down on their investments in future-fit investments across generative AI and machine learning (ML) as a way to spur future growth,” PYMNTS wrote Monday (May 8).

The term “AI” popped up more than 200 times on recent earnings calls by tech giants Alphabet, Meta and Microsoft, while Amazon CEO Andy Jassy says the company was working on an improved large language model (LLM) to power its smart assistant, Alexa.

On the flip side of things, AI pioneer Dr. Geoffrey Hinton recently resigned from Google so that he could “speak freely” about the potential risks that widespread integration of the technology may pose.

And Lina Khan, chair of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last week wrote an op-ed stressing the need for immediate AI regulation in order to develop the industry safely.

“As companies race to deploy and monetize A.I., the Federal Trade Commission is taking a close look at how we can best achieve our dual mandate to promote fair competition and to protect Americans from unfair or deceptive practices,” Khan wrote.