Universal Music Group Is Deploying AI to Boost Its Streaming Engagement

With streaming platforms overloaded with music, maybe it takes a robot to get noticed.

Now, Universal Music Group is making some AI-driven plans for a rapidly-arriving future.  The mega-label is teaming up with Super Hi-Fi to offer UMG artists new AI tools for creating engagement on music streaming platforms.

The companies will work together to introduce Super Hi-Fi’s AI tech to UMG partners around the globe.  UMG and Super Hi-Fi are hoping to create new ways to enhance and promote UMG artists and their music.

The concept could give Universal a big edge on streaming, where human curation only goes so far.  According to an announcement email sent to Digital Music News, UMG will support new product development initiatives and help Super Hi-Fi create new business relationships.

Of course, a lot of this involves massive data collection and lots of subtle curation techniques that only a robot could understand.  What could possibly go wrong?

Super Hi-Fi’s John Bolton believes that the digital music landscape will change dramatically over the next few years.

He says the demand for personalized music experiences is on the rise across multiple sectors in the music industry, with winners being smartly placed with the right algorithms and AI-driven techniques.

“The digital music landscape is undergoing dramatic change as technology creates demand for personalized music experiences across multiple sectors,” Bolton said.  “With the shift to smart speakers and voice-controlled experiences comes a completely anonymous listening experience with no visual interface and no visual branding.”

Super Hi-Fi’s suite of tools offers cloud services and APIs for  integration into existing music services.  The company says they can still collect significant amounts of data without any changes to existing music delivery architectures.

Interestingly, Bolton also says Super Hi-Fi’s AI focused on a lot of seemingly mundane changes, including smoother transitions between songs and creating the right sequencing in playlists to maximize engagement.  Super Hi-Fi’s tech also focuses on tasks like volume leveling, removing clicks and gaps between tracks, and even smoother integration of audio ads.

That stuff is boring to a human curator — though there seems to be far more to maximizing engagement than just picking the right songs.

“We’re excited about the kind of in-stream audio enhancements made possible by Super Hi-Fi, which can help artists deepen connections with fans and drive longer-term engagement for digital music services,” said Michael Nash, UMG’s Executive VP of Digital Strategy.

3 Responses

  1. Paul Resnikoff

    My own view is that it’s already arrived, whether it be in streaming curation, recommendations, or the creation of music itself. AI for music, in all its facets, is really just getting started.