Spotify is unplugging the bots

Emre Çitak
May 10, 2023

Spotify has reportedly removed tens of thousands of songs created by Boomy, a generative AI company that enables users to generate original songs in seconds. The streaming giant eliminated around seven percent of the tracks produced by Boomy's systems, highlighting the rapid proliferation of AI-generated content on music streaming platforms.

According to reports, Universal Music raised concerns with Spotify and other major services, claiming that it had detected suspicious streaming activity on Boomy's songs. The label suspected that bots were being used to artificially inflate listener figures and generate unearned revenue for uploaders. Spotify pays royalties to artists and rights holders based on the number of plays.

A spokesperson for Spotify confirmed that it had removed some Boomy tracks and said that it is taking action against stream manipulation across its service. "Artificial streaming is a longstanding, industry-wide issue that Spotify is working to stamp out across our service," they added. "When we identify or are alerted to potential cases of stream manipulation, we mitigate their impact by taking action that may include the removal of streaming numbers and the withholding of royalties. This allows us to protect royalty payouts for honest, hardworking artists".

The prevalence of AI-generated music

AI-generated music is an increasingly prevalent phenomenon on music streaming platforms, with Boomy being just one of several startups using machine learning to create original songs. Boomy claims that its users have generated just under 14 percent of the world's recorded music, which equates to 14,554,448 songs.

Spotify has stated that it is working to stamp out artificial streaming across its service. The streaming platform takes action against suspected stream manipulation, including removing streaming numbers and withholding royalties. The company's efforts are designed to protect honest, hardworking artists and ensure that they receive the royalties they deserve.

Spotify AI generated music
Spotify has removed nearly 15 million AI-generated music from its platform - Image courtesy of Boomy

Industry Concerns

Music industry insiders have been sounding the alarm about the wider impact of AI-generated tracks and individuals using bots to inflate listener figures and syphon money away from the royalties paid out by streaming services. Last month, a song that included vocals that appeared to be from Drake and The Weeknd went viral, prompting Universal Music Group to accuse the use of the duo's voices in training generative AI systems of infringing copyright law. Spotify and Apple Music subsequently removed the song from their libraries.

What is Boomy?

Boomy is a music technology startup that enables users to generate original songs through the use of generative AI. The company's platform allows users to input lyrics or choose from a selection of pre-written themes, which Boomy's software then uses to create music. Users can then edit and refine the generated song to create a final version, which they can upload to various music streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music.

Boomy's platform aims to democratize music creation, allowing anyone to create and distribute their own music without the need for expensive equipment or specialized skills. However, the platform has recently come under scrutiny after allegations of suspicious streaming activity and the use of bots to inflate listener figures and generate unearned revenue for uploaders. Spotify has reportedly removed tens of thousands of tracks produced by Boomy's systems in response to these concerns. Despite these challenges, Boomy has stated that it remains committed to its mission of making music creation accessible to everyone, and continues to offer its services to users around the world.


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