Over the holidays I had fun playing around with the AI chatbot, Chat GPT.
I asked Chat GPT, to explain, in its own words, what it is. Here’s what it said” “I am a large language model trained by OpenAI. I am not a real person, but I can understand and respond to questions and statements as if I were a person.”
AI is both exciting and terrifying to me, simultaneously. Still clearly in its infancy, AI’s ability to create visual art, lyrics, poems, write essays and more is both amazing and really scary to me, in terms of its potential implications for artists, musicians and creatives.
Will AI eventually replace visual artists and songwriters? Will AI simply serve as a tool to assist artists and songwriters in refining their craft? What about things like copyright and intellectual property laws for the “art” it creates?
I don’t know exactly how AI will unfold or whether it will be a net positive or negative for society. I think that, like with all new technology, there is the potential for both positive and negative uses. That said, this technology feels very different to me in its potential implications for our society and culture at large. I can see AI, potentially, disrupting many industries and leading to a myriad of legal, ethical and moral issues that will need to be sorted out going forward.
But, for better or worse, AI is here and at this point I’ve been playing around with it to see what its capable of. Although there are clearly limitations, Chat GPT is pretty impressive. It’s created poems, lyrics, essays, answered complex questions related to medicine and history for me, on demand, in a matter of seconds.
I thought it would be fun, as a sort of experiment to interview Chat GPT about music licensing and the music business and ask it directly about some of my concerns related to the music business and AI’s potential to disrupt the industry.
Although some of its answers were somewhat generic, I have to admit its advice is pretty solid and not that far off from some of the general advice I’ve given related to breaking into the industry.
Without further adieu, here’s my interview with the AI Chat Bot, Chat GPT, about music licensing, the future of the music business and AI:
Me: Can you write me an article about the best way to break into music licensing?
Chat GPT: Music licensing is a lucrative and exciting field that allows music creators to have their work heard in a variety of media projects, such as films, television shows, video games, and commercials. If you're a musician or composer looking to break into this industry, here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of success:
Breaking into the music licensing industry can be challenging, but with hard work, persistence, and a little bit of luck, it's possible to turn your passion for music into a successful career.
Me: What is the best way to approach a music library or music publisher that will optimize one's chances for success?
Chat GPT: Here are a few tips for approaching a music library or music publisher in a way that will optimize your chances for success:
I hope these tips are helpful as you approach music libraries and publishers. Best of luck!
Me: Thank you. What about approaching music supervisors directly? Do you have any tips on how to bypass music libraries and publishers and go straight to music supervisors?
Chat GPT: Music supervisors are professionals who are responsible for selecting and licensing music for use in films, television shows, video games, and other media projects. Here are a few tips for approaching music supervisors directly:
It's worth noting that it can be more challenging to approach music supervisors directly, as they are often very busy and may have preferred relationships with music libraries and publishers. However, if you are able to make a strong case for your music and demonstrate your skills and experience, you may be able to bypass the traditional channels and pitch your music directly to music supervisors.
Me: How much does the average songwriter earn from licensing their music?
Chat GPT: It's difficult to give a specific number for how much the average songwriter earns from licensing their music, as it can vary widely based on a number of factors, such as the songwriter's level of experience, the type of music they create, and the type of media it is being licensed for. In general, songwriters can earn anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars for licensing their music for use in a film, television show, video game, or commercial.
The specific terms of a music licensing deal will depend on a number of factors, including the length and placement of the music, the type of media it will be used in, and the intended audience. Songwriters may be paid a one-time fee for the use of their music, or they may be entitled to ongoing royalties based on the number of times the music is played or the number of copies sold.
It's also worth noting that the music licensing industry can be very competitive, and many songwriters struggle to make a living from licensing their music alone. Many songwriters supplement their income by performing live, selling physical copies of their music, or teaching music.
Me: When breaking into the music licensing business, Is it helpful to take courses, hire mentors, etc or are these just a waste of money, in your opinion?
Chat GPT: In my opinion, taking courses and hiring mentors can be helpful when breaking into the music licensing business. However, whether or not they are a waste of money depends on the individual's needs and goals.
There are many resources available for learning about the music licensing industry, including online courses, workshops, and industry conferences. These can provide valuable knowledge and connections that can help you get started in the industry. However, it's important to do your research and make sure that the resources you are considering are reputable and will provide the skills and knowledge that you need.
Hiring a mentor can also be a useful way to learn about the industry and get personalized guidance. A mentor who has experience in the music licensing business can provide valuable insights and advice and can help you navigate the industry more effectively. However, it's important to find a mentor who is a good fit for you and who can provide the support and guidance that you need.
Ultimately, whether or not taking courses or hiring a mentor is a good investment will depend on your specific goals and needs. It may be worth considering these options if you feel like you could benefit from more in-depth knowledge or personalized guidance as you break into the music licensing business.
Me: Thank you and just for fun, can you show off your lyric writing chops by writing a poem about an artist struggling to break into music licensing who finds success?
Chat GPT: Sure! Here is a poem about an artist struggling to break into music licensing who finds success:
An artist struggles, toiling day and night
To break into a business, full of endless fights
A sea of competition, all vying for the top
But she persists, with a fire that never flops
She takes courses, hires mentors, and never looks back
Her determination, a force to be reckoned with, no lack
She puts in the work, and it starts to pay off
Her music gets licensed, and she can't help but scoff
At all the doubters, who said she'd never make it
She's proved them wrong, and her success is legit
Now she's on top, the licensing world at her feet
She's living her dream, and it's oh so sweet
The artist struggles, but in the end, she prevails
Her hard work paid off, and now she never fails
To make a name for herself, in the music industry
A true success story, her journey is history
Me: That's actually quite impressive. I'm curious though, who owns the copyright to the lyrics and poems you create?
Chat GPT: As an artificial intelligence, I do not have the legal capacity to hold copyrights. Therefore, any original content that I create, such as poems or lyrics, would not be protected by copyright. This means that anyone would be able to use or distribute the content that I create without my permission.
It's important to note that copyright protection applies to original works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible form, such as a written or recorded work. In order for a work to be eligible for copyright protection, it must be the result of human creativity, rather than being generated by a machine.
I hope that helps to clarify the issue of copyright ownership when it comes to content created by artificial intelligence. If you have any further questions on this topic, please don't hesitate to ask.
Me: So in a sense, what you're saying is that the lyrics and poems you create are "royalty free", meaning anyone can use them for commercial purposes?
Chat GPT: Yes, that's correct! Because I do not have the legal capacity to hold copyrights, any original content that I create, such as poems or lyrics, would not be protected by copyright and could be used by anyone without my permission. This means that the content could be used for commercial purposes, such as in advertising or on products, without the need to pay royalties or obtain a license.
It's important to note, however, that while the content that I create may not be protected by copyright, it is still subject to other laws and regulations. For example, if someone used my content in a way that defamed me or violated my rights, they could potentially be held liable for those actions.
I hope this helps to clarify the issue of copyright and the use of content created by artificial intelligence. If you have any further questions on this topic, please don't hesitate to ask.
Me: This has been a fascinating conversation. One final question. Do you ever foresee a day where AI replaces songwriters and lyricists? Your ability to create creative content on demand, while certainly not perfect, is quite impressive. I'm concerned though about the implications of what this means for creatives, songwriters, lyricists, etc
Chat GPT: It's true that artificial intelligence has the ability to create original content, including songs and lyrics. However, it's important to note that AI is still limited in its ability to create truly creative and innovative works. While AI systems can generate content based on certain parameters or patterns, they are not capable of the same level of creativity and originality as human songwriters and lyricists.
It's also worth considering that the process of creating music and lyrics involves more than just the technical ability to generate words and melodies. It involves emotion, expression, and personal experience, which are all elements that AI systems are not able to replicate.
Therefore, while AI may be able to assist with certain aspects of the songwriting process, it is unlikely to completely replace human songwriters and lyricists in the foreseeable future.
That being said, it's important for all workers, including those in the creative industries, to stay up-to-date with new technologies and to be adaptable in order to stay competitive in a rapidly changing world. It's possible that AI could change the way that music is created and the roles that songwriters and lyricists play in the process, but it's not likely to entirely replace the need for human creativity and originality.
Me: Thank you. Have a great night!
Chat GPT: You're welcome! I'm glad I could help. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask. Have a great night!