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AI-music startup Jukedeck has been acquired by TikTok parent firm Bytedance

Ed Newton-Rex was the founder and CEO of Jukedeck, one of the first startups to develop a product for AI-generated music. We say ‘was’ because since April 2019, he has been working for TikTok’s parent company Bytedance as director of its AI Lab, according to his recently-updated LinkedIn profile.

That would explain recent rumours that TikTok had acquired Jukedeck, although it’s unclear for now – Music Ally is on the case – whether there was an acquisition, or whether Bytedance simply hired Jukedeck’s CEO.

However, Jukedeck’s website (including its ‘Make’ tool for creating AI tracks) has been taken offline, with its homepage replaced by a message saying “We can’t tell you more just yet, but we’re looking forward to continuing to fuel creativity using musical AI!” – which could be read as a hint at an acquisition. Music Ally has contacted Newton-Rex and Bytedance / TikTok for clarification.

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‘There will be a number one song that’s 100% AI-written’

The Great Escape in Brighton is one of the UK’s best showcases for new artists, but it’s also a chance for the industry to discuss some of the new technologies that could have an impact on those musicians’ careers. Yesterday, the focus was on artificial intelligence (AI) – particularly around AI that can create music or be used as a creative foil by human artists.

Organised by Complete Music Update (CMU) a day of panels kicked off with a spirited session of definitions from the academic world, in the shape of Margaret Boden from the University of Sussex – who has been involved in AI for decades – and Marcus O’Dair from Middlesex University.

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Jukedeck takes its AI music to Korea with K-Pop collaboration

2018 may be the year of the AI/human music collaboration. British AI music startup Jukedeck is the latest company to work with musicians in an effort to show it’s a friend not a foe for human creators.

The firm has teamed up with South Korean music stable Enterarts, with some of its K-Pop songwriters taking compositions from Jukedeck’s algorithm and turning them into full songs.

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AI-composed music is here, but will it shake up the sync market?

The first market being targeted by artificial-intelligence music startups like Jukedeck and Amper Music is production music, with AI systems capable of generating music to be used in online videos, mobile games and other digital content.

What does that mean for the existing synchronisation sector of the music industry? A panel organised in London this week by FastForward explored some of the issues.

The panel included Rachel Menzies, music supervisor at Native Music Supervision & Production; Alex Black, global director at EMI Production Music; Jon Eades, innovation manager at Abbey Road Red; and Patrick Stobbs, co-founder and COO at Jukedeck. The moderator was Chris Carey, CEO and founder of FastForward and Media Insight Consulting.

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Abbey Road Red: ‘AI will just fold in to our daily lives’

As manager of Abbey Road Studios’ incubator Abbey Road Red, it’s Jon Eades’ job to bring tech startups into the famous studio complex and help them build partnerships with musicians, producers and engineers, and the wider music industry.

Alumni include startups working on instruments (Roli); educational technology (Uberchord); 3D hardware and audio (Ossic and Titan Reality); online mastering (CloudBounce); film-scoring (Scored); vinyl crowdfunding (Qrates); and online studio bookings (The Audio Hunt).

The latest program is focusing on artificial intelligence with two British startups, AI Music (who we profiled recently) and Vochlea. Eades talked to Music Ally about why AI is interesting for a company like Abbey Road; how he sees this technology developing in the future; and some of the controversies around the area.

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Jukedeck hopes artificial intelligence can ‘democratise music’

British AI-music startup Jukedeck has been on the music industry’s radar for three years now, since TechCrunch’s August 2014 report on its “responsive music software” that could write music like a human would, for royalty-free use in online videos.

That December, Jukedeck won a startup prize at the Le Web conference in Paris, although it would be another year’s work before the official launch of its service in December 2015, accompanied by a £2.5m funding round.

Anyone could use Jukedeck’s tool to create music: choosing a genre, mood, tempo, instruments and track length, then giving the resulting song a name and – if it’s suitable for your soundtrack needs – paying as little as $0.99 for a royalty-free licence, or $199 to buy the copyright outright.

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Music Ally report: 30 music startups worth watching in 2017

The state of the current music/tech startups scene was a big theme at the recent NY:LON Connect conference that Music Ally and the Music Business Association co-organised.

Six British startups pitched their technologies at the event, and we’ve since published our opinion on why we feel optimistic about the music/tech landscape in 2017.

If that’s not enough startup talk for you, try this: Music Ally has compiled a mini-report about 30 of the music and music-related startups that we think are worth watching in 2017 (and hopefully beyond).

Prepared for NY:LON Connect, we’re opening it up to our readers and the wider world. From music creation and live video-streaming to blockchain-based systems, chatbots and artificial intelligence, the 30 included startups are a snapshot of the innovation going on in and around music.

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AI could be the music industry’s next Napster moment – but much bigger

“It’s probably fair to say that AI will change the music industry and lots of other industries a lot more than the internet did.”

Ed Newton-Rex, CEO of startup Jukedeck, set the tone at last night’s ‘Music’s Smart Future’ event at the BPI’s headquarters in London. His company has developed artificial intelligence (AI) technology capable of composing music, with more than 500,000 tracks under its belt already.

The implications for the music industry of AI composers was just one of the topics discussed at the conference, alongside machine-learning based music recommendation tech; music-focused chatbots; and smart voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.