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Record Labels Strike Down on AI Music Generators 🤖 🎶

VOLUME 45

Happy Thursday! If you signed up for this newsletter because you want to be on the in, you’re in the right place.

Lots of AI stories today (and one about fast fashion), but what can I say, it’s all the craze these days. Hope you enjoy!

Jacob Pace

Music Labels Sue AI Song Generators for Copyright Infringement

In a recent turn of events, the world's biggest record companies, including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Records, have all filed lawsuits against AI music startups Suno and Udio. In the lawsuit, the labels allege that these AI song generators are illegally using copyrighted music from artists like Mariah Carey and Chuck Berry to train their models.

The lawsuits, announced by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), claim that Suno and Udio's software "steals" music to train its models and create similar songs. The record companies are seeking $150,000 per infringed work in compensation, which, if proven right, could add up to be quite a lot (maybe even in the 9-figure range).

Suno launched its product last year and monetizes by charging users a monthly fee (I am a subscriber, and yes it’s really cool). Udio on the other hand, launched in April of this year, and gained popularity when legendary music producer Metro Boomin used it to create a diss track against Drake (BBL Drizzy… if you haven’t heard it).

Mikey Shulman, CEO of Suno, defended himself and his platform, stating that the technology outputs without memorizing or copying existing content. In addition, he also expressed disappointment that the record labels chose litigation over discussion.

At the moment, this is all speculation as to whether or not these platforms are illegally using copyrights, but you would have to think that part of the the $125M that Suno raised was meant to be used to battle potential lawsuits. Udio, on the other hand, has raised $10M so far.

As with any big, disruptive technology, the lawsuits usually come flying in like this. This is normal. This is fine.

Shein Confidentially Files for London IPO Amid U.S. Setbacks

Fast fashion giant Shein has quietly filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in London, according to a source familiar with the matter. 

Shein initially filed for a U.S. IPO in November, but faced significant backlash over allegations of forced labor in its supply chain. So in response to that, the company filed for a London IPO, which experts suggested could help the company avoid some of these hurdles.

The company, which has strong ties to China, moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2021 but still relies heavily on its Chinese supply chain. This reliance has drawn scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers, who, as we know, are clearly apprehensive towards anything having to do with China.

Despite facing these challenges, Shein remains determined to go public in the U.S. and continues to pursue membership in the National Retail Federation, which is a leading U.S. association in the retail industry. However, the company's efforts have not yet succeeded, and it has faced repeated rejections.

I’m highly doubtful of a U.S. IPO with this company, so London definitely seems more fitting to me. But who knows, TikTok has yet to be shut down, so they just might be able to pull something off, as difficult as it will be. But what doesn’t help the case is how mysterious Shein and its CEO are (even his own employees don’t recognize him).

Reputation is currency in today’s world.

OpenAI Acquires Remote Collaboration Platform Multi

OpenAI is on a buying spree, and its latest acquisition is Multi, a startup known for its enterprise-focused, video-first collaboration platform. This acquisition follows OpenAI's recent purchase of the database tech firm Rockset, which it purchased for a few hundred million.

The deal with Multi is primarily an acqui-hire, meaning OpenAI is bringing on most of Multi’s team, which consists of about five people. Multi’s CEO, Alexander Embiricos, announced that Multi will shut down after July 24. 

Multi, previously known as Remotion, was initially designed to facilitate remote teamwork through video chats. It featured highly collaborative tools like screen sharing for up to 10 people, customizable shortcuts, and automatic links for code, designs, and documents. The startup had raised $13 million in 2020 from investors like Greylock and First Round Capital before the acquisition.

In my opinion, OpenAI's acquisition of Multi signals the company’s strong move into building AI-driven enterprise solutions. Given that the corporate tier of OpenAI’s ChatGPT is already used by 93% of Fortune 500 companies, they are absorbing this market fairly quickly. On top of that, OpenAI’s revenue is expected to surpass $3.4 billion this year.

OpenAI, nice work. But let’s not underestimate the potential of Elon Musk’s xAI, which recently raised $6 billion to compete in the market.

TikTok Launches AI-Powered Creative Tools with Adobe Integration

Well in case you’re not sick of more AI stories, I got one more for ya.

TikTok has recently launched Symphony, a new suite of AI-powered creative tools designed to make content creation easier and more efficient for marketers and creators.

Here are some of Symphony’s key features:

  • Symphony Assistant: AI-powered virtual assistant that helps brainstorm ideas, implement best practices, and identify trends.

  • Symphony Creative Studio: AI-driven tool that helps turn minimal inputs into compelling videos in just a few minutes. It includes features like translating scripts, using digital avatars, and fine-tuning videos before publishing.

  • Symphony in TikTok Ads Manager: AI-powered features like auto-diagnosis, auto-optimization, and auto-generation to enhance ad creation and performance.

  • Symphony Digital Avatars: Generative AI avatars that help brands and creators scale their content globally. Available in stock and custom versions, these avatars can be tailored for different languages and audiences.

In addition to the new features, TikTok has also partnered with Adobe to integrate TikTok’s Commercial Music Library into Adobe Express via the Symphony Assistant add-on. This integration will allow Adobe Express users to easily access over a million pre-cleared, top-trending song.

If you’re interested in using Symphony, you can learn more here.

That’s all, folks! Have a great week.