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  • Writer's pictureMegan Routledge

Documentary Short on 2023 ASCAP Lab Music and AI Challenge Premieres March 20 on YouTube


Documentary, AI & Music


ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, releases Prelude in AI Major: Crafting a Creator-First Future for Music & AI, a documentary short on their 2023 ASCAP Lab Music and AI Challenge. A joint effort between the ASCAP Lab (ASCAP's innovation initiative) and the NYC Media Lab, led by the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, the Challenge focused on cutting-edge concepts at the intersection of music and artificial intelligence. Five teams were selected to receive mentorship and grants to develop their emerging technologies during the 12-week challenge.


Prelude in AI Major: Crafting a Creator-First Future for Music & AI explores how the teams are leveraging AI to build innovative tools for making and experiencing music, informed by their own backgrounds as composers and musicians. The film features ASCAP mentors, including songwriter and composer members, sharing their experiences guiding the teams in developing their technologies and exploring the copyright implications of their work. These music industry professionals also offer their perspectives on how AI is impacting music creators and the value of forging relationships across the music tech landscape.


Watch the premiere on ASCAP’s YouTube channel, March 20 at noon ET.


2024 ASCAP Lab Challenge: AI and the Business of Music

On the heels of tomorrow’s documentary release, the ASCAP Lab and NYC Media Lab are officially announcing the fifth consecutive year of the Challenge with the launch of the 2024 ASCAP Lab Challenge: AI and the Business of Music. Continuing to focus on the intersection of AI and music, this year’s Challenge is specifically aimed at identifying AI-driven solutions that can transform music industry workflows, business processes and data exchanges. Examples include but are not limited to:


● Enhanced marketing strategies, community-building and distribution tools

● Infrastructure applications that streamline industry operations and data

● Innovative approaches to tackle industry-wide challenges such as data fraud

● Efficient payment solutions tailored for the music industry

● Business tools that aid music creators in their entrepreneurial endeavors


Applications for the 2024 Challenge are now open at www.ascap.com/ai-challenge and will close on Sunday, April 14 at 11:59pm ET. Two online info sessions will take place on Thursday, March 28 and and Wednesday April 10 at 12pm ET; register at www.ascap.com/ai-infosessions.


Approximately four startup and/or university-affiliated teams will be selected to receive mentorship and grants to develop and expand upon their emerging technologies during this year’s 12-week challenge. Those selected will meet weekly (typically via video conference) with NYC Media Lab and ASCAP Lab team members to present progress and receive feedback in a cohort-based setting. Cohort teams may also have the opportunity to engage with and receive feedback about their products from ASCAP’s songwriter and publisher member community and senior leadership.


The ASCAP Lab Challenges are one facet of ASCAP’s ongoing commitment to operating as the only US performing rights society that is creator-first and future-forward. Or as ASCAP Chief Strategy & Digital Officer Nick Lehman puts it in the documentary: “It’s important for us to have a seat at the table, to be in the room where these concepts are not just concepts – but where they’re being applied in the industry.”


For more information about the 2023 Challenge Teams featured in Prelude in AI Major: Crafting a Creator-First Future for Music & AI below:


About the ASCAP Lab 2023 Challenge Teams

DAACI is a comprehensive AI system that composes, arranges, orchestrates and produces authentic, high-quality and original music with emotional and narrative awareness, especially for composers for video games, the metaverse, digital worlds and dynamic virtual experiences. https://daaci.com/


Infinite Album uses AI to generate continuous copyright-safe video game music that can react to game play in real time and can be customized by gamers and viewers in collaborative, interactive and monetizable ways. www.infinitealbum.io 


Never Before Heard Sounds’ Sounds.Studio is a browser-based music production platform that leverages AI to make producing music faster and more accessible with assistive tools like stem splitting, vocal conversion, timbre transfer and automatic song alignment. www.sounds.studio


Overture Games builds video games for beginner musicians designed to make practicing more fun and reduce burnout/quitting by using AI-based pitch detection to provide responsive visual feedback based on the musician’s playing.www.overture.games


Samplifi is making the sonic world easier to navigate for hearing-impaired musicians by combining classical digital signal processing techniques with the latest advances in AI to isolate and enhance the auditory information needed to harmonically orient oneself within a piece of music. www.samplifi.net



About ASCAP

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 975,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, and represents some of the world’s most talented music creators. In 2023, ASCAP reported record-high financial results of $1.737 billion in revenues and $1.592 billion available in royalty distribution monies to its members. Over the last eight years, ASCAP has delivered a 7% compound annual growth rate for total revenues, and an 8% compound annual growth rate for total royalty distributions to members. Founded and governed by songwriters, composers and publishers, it is the only performing rights organization in the U.S. that operates on a not-for-profit basis. ASCAP licenses a repertory of over 19 million musical works to hundreds of thousands of businesses that use music, including streaming services, cable television, radio and satellite radio and brick and mortar businesses such as retail stores, hotels, clubs, restaurants and bars. ASCAP collects the licensing fees; identifies, matches and processes trillions of performances every year; and returns nearly 90 cents of every dollar back to its members as royalties. The ASCAP blanket license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. ASCAP puts music creators first, advocating for their rights and the value of music on Capitol Hill, driving innovation that moves the industry forward, building community and providing the resources and support that creators need to succeed in their careers. Learn more and stay in touch at www.ascap.com, on Twitter andInstagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.


About the NYC Media Lab

The NYC Media Lab connects media and technology companies with both NYU Tandon and industry affiliates to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and talent development. Our interdisciplinary community of innovators from industry and academia allows our network to gain valuable insights, explore the potential of emerging technology and address the challenges and opportunities created by the rapidly evolving digital media landscape. Learn more at engineering.nyu.edu/nyc-media-lab.

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