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52% of individuals fear AI could devalue or replace human-made music: survey

AddictiveTips Team Logo AddictiveTips Staff | June 29, 2023

Key findings


of respondents believe using AI could replace or devalue human-made music.


of Gen Z respondents would still support their favorite musicians even if their voice rights were sold to AI, despite concerns about losing creativity and originality.


of the respondents feel that AI-generated music can threaten artistic ownership and could raise ethical issues.


of Millennials aren’t open to exploring music created by AI artists, but still, a surprising 53% among them would support their favorite musicians if they sold the rights to their voice for AI applications.

As the boundaries between technology and creativity continue to blur, an important question arises: Will AI replace music artists?

In the case of the new Drake AI song, Heart on My Sleeve, it really did. While the song was advertised as the latest collaboration between famous artists Drake and The Weeknd, it really was written and produced by TikTok user ghostwriter977 who used AI to mimic the famous artist voices. Until the big reveal, though, the song had even hardcore fans of the two artists fooled; it was simply that good.

Similarly, AI is being used for the release of a new song by The Beatles, replicating the young voices of late members of the band. Even the iconic singer Grimes has put together, which helps artists to develop and reproduce any text with her voice.

Can AI truly understand and replicate the originality and complexity of music created by human minds? And if that happens, would people be as interested in it as human-made music? To shed light on these questions, we conducted a survey involving 1,500 participants from the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. Let's dive into their perspectives and uncover their thoughts on this matter.

The Debate Over AI-Generated Music Through Generations: Reinventing the Industry or Robbing Creativity?

There is ongoing debate about the use of AI-generated music. While some see AI as a tool to revolutionize the music industry, others worry it could rob creativity and originality. The concern is that AI-generated music could become monotonous and devoid of emotional complexity, leading to a homogenization of the music industry.

In fact, in a recent survey, almost 30% of music producers felt that AI music tools might lead to lesser originality in the music and 37% feel that AI music should be public domain — meaning it shouldn’t have any exclusive intellectual property rights.

When asked how AI could impact the music industry, Louis Tompros, intellectual property litigator and professor at Harvard Law School, said, “There are two significant issues surrounding AI in the music industry. The first is the lack of clarity surrounding the rights associated with AI-created music. Currently, the copyright division in the United States does not recognize AI as a creator for copyright purposes. This means that AI-generated music is effectively in the public domain, raising questions about the rights of future creators and those who want to use AI in their work.

The second issue concerns protecting artists' work from misuse by AI. Unlike humans who practice their instruments and may train themselves to imitate other artists, AI is trained by making copies. This is where traditional copyright laws may play a role, raising questions about the original creators' rights when AI generates something based on their work.”

The ethical implications of AI-generated music are complex and multifaceted, potentially impacting the music industry and society as a whole. It is crucial to consider these ramifications and strike a balance between the benefits of AI and the preservation of artistic integrity and artists' rights.

When exploring AI and music, it is fascinating to observe the differing opinions across generations. From Baby Boomers to Gen Z, each cohort holds a unique perspective on AI-based music.

Gen Z's Take: Embracing the Possibilities

Gen Z, the digital natives of today, demonstrate a significant openness to the potential of AI in music. Only 24% of Gen Z respondents are unsure about supporting their favorite musician if they sell the rights to their voice for AI applications. However, a surprising 53% indicate that they would still support their favorite musician in such a scenario. This suggests an openness to embracing AI as a creative tool while remaining loyal to their favorite artists.

A bar graph indicating the responses to the question: Would you still support your favorite musician if they sold the rights to their voice for AI applications?

43% of Gen Z are open to exploring music created by AI artists. Even among those who would not support their favorite musicians if their voice rights were sold to AI applications, 12% are still open to listening to new music by AI artists.

Millennials: Navigating the Uncertainty

Millennials, who straddle the digital revolution, showcase a more cautious yet open stance toward AI-generated music. Among this age group, 26% express uncertainty about supporting their favorite musician if their voice rights were sold for AI applications. However, an encouraging 49% would continue their support even in such circumstances.

A pie chart indicating the responses to the question: Would you still support your favorite musician if they sold the rights to their voice for AI applications?

Further, 42% of Millennials are open to exploring music created by AI artists, and among those not interested (25%), a surprising 59% would still support their favorite musicians if they sold the rights to their voice for AI applications. This suggests a willingness to navigate the changing landscape of music creation and consumption alongside AI.

Boomers and Gen X: Embracing Tradition with Reservations

Boomers and Gen X, representing more traditional music consumers, exhibit higher levels of uncertainty. A notable 35% expressed uncertainty about supporting their favorite musician if their voice rights were sold for AI applications. However, around 37% would continue their support, indicating a desire to balance their appreciation for human-made music while recognizing the evolving role of AI.

A pie chart indicating the responses to the question: Would you still support your favorite musician if they sold the rights to their voice for AI applications?

Yet again, most music listeners (39%) from both generations were uncertain about exploring music created by AI artists. Around 30% were open to the idea of AI music, while 36% weren’t willing to do so. This shows that people from Gen X and Boomers are still hesitant to explore music created by AI artists, despite an increasing interest in AI technology. This could be because people are more accustomed to music made by humans and more comfortable with traditional music.

The Sound of Tomorrow: Exploring the Possibilities of AI in Music

Taking a step back to view the bigger picture, the collective insights from all age groups unveil a mosaic of opinions.

People across ages seemed to agree more when it comes to their favorite artists selling their voice to AI generators — like Grimes’ AI voice tool, for example. Though Gen X and Boomers were generally a bit more conservative in this regard, most respondents seemed fine with the idea of artists selling their voices, with only over a quarter of them saying otherwise. This indicates acceptance and adaptability across age groups in embracing AI's role in music creation and consumption.

Bar chart showing potential benefits of AI music

Across all age groups, there was a potential openness to AI-generated music, with 37% responding that they would be interested in exploring and discovering new music created by AI artists.

The respondents across all generations also had similar views about the ways AI could be used in the music industry. Majority of respondents (47%) felt that AI could be used to create unique sounds. 45% of the respondents also felt that AI could be used to add harmonies and background vocals.

The Ethics of AI in Music: Who Owns the Rights?

As we navigate the intricacies of compensation in the realm of AI-generated music, it becomes evident that finding a harmonious and equitable solution is essential. Balancing the interests of artists, creators, and the broader music industry will require thoughtful dialogue and careful consideration of the implications for artistic integrity and technological progress.

This has also sparked concerns surrounding the ethical implications of ownership and artistic integrity. Louis discusses this with an example, the new AI-created Beatles song: “The band has two deceased members, but AI can recreate their voices and de-age the voices of the existing members to create something previously impossible. This technology is incredible, but it raises questions about ownership and rights. However, in the case of the Beatles, all permissions have been secured, and the rights will be dealt with appropriately.”

But, when the artist isn’t permitted to use AI to recreate voices, who would have the ownership — and more importantly, who would get the royalty?

39% of respondents across all age groups support a combined approach for royalty — in which all parties involved receive their fair share of the creation of AI-generated voices. This perspective reflects a desire to acknowledge the collaborative nature of AI music production and honor the contributions made by various stakeholders.

When asked about the rights to AI music, Louis reflects a similar opinion, “In an ideal world, everyone who contributes creatively to AI-generated music should receive some form of compensation: from those who create the AI software to the one who puts everything together and adds their creativity. Shutting down compensation for any of these contributors would stifle creativity, but it's important to find a way to compensate everyone involved fairly.”

Donut chart showing who survey respondents think should be compensated for AI music

Interestingly, the original artists whose voices served as the foundation for training the AI received moderate support, garnering 27% of overall responses. In contrast, the label that owns the AI-generated voice and the coder responsible for creating the AI-generated voice received relatively lower levels of support, with only 8% and 9% overall, respectively. This disparity could stem from concerns surrounding the commercial exploitation of AI-generated voices and the perception that their value lies primarily in the hands of those who control and manipulate them.

Adding another layer of complexity to the discussion, 17% of respondents expressed the opinion that AI-generated voices should not be compensated at all. This viewpoint may reflect concerns about the potential devaluation of human artistry and the blurred boundaries between genuine artistic expression and AI-generated replication.

The Case for Copyright: Enforcing Rights in the Era of AI-Generated Music

The emergence of AI-generated music raises important ethical questions about proper accreditation, royalties, and protecting the rights of creators.

Our survey results reflected the same. With a majority (52%) of respondents believing that using AI for creating music could eventually lead to devaluing the authenticity of human-made music. 44% of them also thought AI-created music could lead to ethical issues around the ownership of art.

Smaller percentage (31%) believed that AI-generated music could lead to a surge in creativity and the exploration of new musical styles, and 23% also believe that AI could help increase the productivity of musicians.

Bar chart showing Long-Term Impact of AI Technology on the Music Industry

“The enforcement of copyright for AI-generated music is a complicated issue,” Louis elaborates. “The reason why the music industry is trying to incorporate AI control into copyright is that there are effective mechanisms for enforcing copyright quickly. For example, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the US can result in rapid takedowns of copyrighted material.”

However, there are still a lot of gray areas when it comes to copyrighting AI music. Louis further adds, “If the issue is a copyright problem, such as someone copying a song or movie, it can be taken down immediately. However, if the issue is related to the right of publicity or privacy, the DMCA is not applicable. In such cases, the process is slow and requires legal action, like sending letters and bringing lawsuits. This is why people advocate for AI copyright, as it is close enough to the problem and has an enforcement mechanism.”

The ethical implications of using AI for music may differ between countries. Recently, in a shocking move, Japan declared that using public data for training AI models isn’t a violation of copyright law. However, the regulations in the United States, Canada, the UK and many other countries are still under planning.

As we navigate the evolving landscape of AI-generated music, it becomes clear that AI is poised to play a significant role in music creation and consumption. While opinions differ across age groups, a collective recognition of AI's potential and the need for ethical considerations emerges.

But we circle back to the question on everyone’s minds: will AI take over music production?

Louis answers, “In all honesty, while there are concerns about the impact of AI on music production, we cannot underestimate the creative potential of AI in music creation. AI can add to the body of art, expand the boundaries of musical expression, and enhance the quality of music we consume. However, we must not overlook the ethical concerns surrounding rights and copyright issues. Ultimately, I believe AI music will lead to greater democratization of the music space.”


Data was collected through an online Pollfish survey of 1500 participants from the USA, Canada, and the UK. The participants were from different age groups, spanning various generations, starting from 16 years old.

To help ensure respondents could make informed answers, AddictiveTips included a definition of what AI-generated music is with a few recent examples at the start of the survey.

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Rebecca David

Rebecca David

Media Relations Coordinator

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