April 26, 2023

Web3 + AI Music: Turning a Threat Into Opportunity

GM DOers!

AI music is poking holes in the simulation…

The future is now and it’s getting weird.

AI-generated content is starting to ruffle some serious feathers as it’s starting to creep into the music industry.

As AI-generated Drake/The Weeknd/Beyonce/Kanye voices are being used to create songs with millions of streams, serious questions about copyrights need to be addressed asap.

While some detest the concept of AI-generated content, especially synthesized voices of popular artists, creative artist Grimes has embraced the tech.

She invites those interested in creating music with her voice to collaborate, proposing a 50/50 profit-sharing arrangement:

AI remains a legal minefield for the foreseeable future. Currently, artists face two options – resist it or adapt and find ways to monetize this new era of content creation.

But how can this be implemented, and how can artists authenticate their real content amid countless AI-generated imitations?

Enter web3.

From verifying the authenticity of the original artists, to distributing profits between artists and creators, blockchains offer the perfect tools to help navigate (and monetize) this crazy world of AI.

Today, we'll explore how web3 can help tackle these challenges and revolutionize the music industry.

👉 Lens Protocol: The Future of Social Media

Decentralized social media finally allows creators to own their content, data and followers. That’s why we choose to build part of our media platform on Lens Protocol.

AI Content – From a Toy to A Multi-Million Dollar Nightmare

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Ah, the good old days (just last year) when we marveled at stunning AI-generated images and chatbots that were fascinating but had limited capabilities. 😅

It was impressive, but still cute at best.

Fast forward (less than) a year, and things have taken a serious turn, particularly in the music industry, where it feels like everything changed overnight. 🌪️

At the center of this controversy are anonymous AI-generated songs 🎵, mimicking popular artists like Drake, The Weeknd, Beyonce, and Kanye West.

These anon creators trained AIs to imitate famous voices, wrote fresh lyrics, and crafted new songs with synthesized celebrity vocals.

Though not 100% perfect, it's clear we've reached a point where anyone with technical skills and creativity can make music resembling the original artists. 🤯

Suddenly, AI music has shifted from a fun toy to a copyright nightmare, forcing record labels and independent artists to confront the issue or risk losing millions in potential revenue.

Predictably, major music industry players have come out guns blazing 🔫, threatening AI music producers with consequences.

But without truly internet-native tools, this could be a losing battle 😞. Independent artists are on the rise, making enforcement even more limited with no labels backing them.

Unfortunately, neither record labels nor indie artists have effective tools for proving content authenticity or creating revenue-sharing mechanisms to collect profits from AI-generated content.

However, web3 already has these tools available, and some artists are starting to use them. 🚀

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Lean In and Get Paid

AI music with the potential to generate substantial income is here.

Artists can choose between litigation insanity or earning passive income 💸 from others creating content with their likeness.

Web3 solves two main problems for creators:

  1. How do you prove that you, the artist, published content and are the only authentic source, with others being copycats? 🕵️‍♂️

  2. How can we create a mechanism allowing AI content creators to split the revenue with the original artists? 💰🔀

Onchain identity

First of all, onchain identity solves the problem of proving authenticity.

An artist, like Grimes, can acquire an Ethereum domain (ENS), grimes.eth, and connect it to her social media and music streaming services. 🎵

Any new song she publishes can now be signed with her onchain identity (grimes.eth), creating permanent proof of the original. This lets anyone publish content that can be provably verified onchain without centralized authorities. 🌐

Take, for example, someone with a Doodles NFT as their Twitter PFP (profile picture).

Twitter makes it easy to use an NFT as a profile picture. Clicking the PFP shows relevant NFT info, including the creator (wallet address or an ENS name).

The same can be done for music or any content. This demonstrates how easy web3 makes it to verify ownership.

Although copyright enforcement processes are a lot more complicated than simply proving ownership of a piece of content, ENS names offer a democratic, scalable, and highly trustworthy way for anyone to verify the authenticity of their creations.

Profit distribution

Ok, so now you can prove you're the original artist or the AI-trained voice in a new song.

Next thing you know, this AI song based on your voice goes viral, generating millions of streams. What do you do?

You have two options:

  1. Issue a takedown request to streaming platforms.

  2. Embrace the creator, offer a profit-split deal, and even help share their content.

Option 1 is understandable, but short-sighted with limited upside. 🚫

Option 2, on the other hand, opens new possibilities. Smart contracts and onchain identity make income distribution from streaming frictionless.

This means an AI creator can use Grimes' voice, create a song, and set up a smart contract so 50% of royalties go to Grimes' grimes.eth wallet automatically. Simple as that. 🤖🎵

No complex licensing contracts or (limited) traditional banking payment options—just a simple wallet-to-wallet transaction.

Of course, web2 platforms may pose practical challenges, but web3 platforms like Sound or Audius have revenue-splitting features built-in. And with Spotify testing token-gated playlists and Chainlink Functions enabling web3 functionality on web2 apps, it's just a matter of time before this becomes easy everywhere. 🥳

Rather than sending takedown requests and litigating, musicians can enter web3-powered permissionless agreements with AI creators using their likeness, and sharing revenues. 💵

Furthermore, artists can also promote their favorite AI creations on social media, thus boosting attention, streams, and ultimately, revenue. 🚀

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The Epic Web3 Conference is hosting a Startup Pitch Competition with a chance to show off a product in front of the Startup Pitch Competition Jury, including representatives from ConsenSys, Poolside, Startup Lisboa, Greenfield, CV Labs, and VisCaeli.

As partners, we’ve secured a 15% discount for you. But hurry up — the deadline for applications is April 27th ⌛

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Let’s Grow the Pie, and Create Positive-Sum Games

As the world of AI-generated music blurs the lines between original content and imitation, web3 technology emerges as a beacon of hope.

By embracing on-chain identity, decentralized storage, and smart contracts, artists can securely claim their work, engage with AI creators, and embrace the next big phase of the internet (AI 🤝 web3).

As long as we play our (web3) cards right and have artists such as Grimes set an example for the rest of the world, the future of the music industry is poised to transform into a positive-sum game, fostering collaboration and expanding opportunities for everyone involved, rather than resorting to litigation and exclusivity as in the past.

Let’s make that future a reality, shall we?

What’s New In Web3?

🟣 Hold on, DOers!

Web3 excellence doesn’t come easy: it's time for homework! 💪🤓


Struggling to get a grip on web3? Don’t know where to start? If you’re reading this, you’re already ahead of the curve. 😉

To help you onboard confidently into web3, we've assembled a beginner-friendly Spotify playlist that you can binge through while cooking, working out, or commuting. Check it out!


Join us in our latest podcast episode where Jay and Kyle talk about the new AI Drake song, making predictions for the future of the music industry and discussing the impact of web3 technology within it. Give it a listen!

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you on Friday! ❤️

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not financial advice. Conduct your own research and consult a financial advisor before making investment decisions or taking any action based on the content.