Is language licensing a future revenue stream for artists? — DJ Fresh thinks so

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DJ Fresh Voice Exchange

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Photo credit: Abstral Official

Is language licensing a new revenue stream for artists in the age of AI? Enter DJ Fresh’s VoiceSwap.

AI voice cloning can recreate an artist’s voice using machine learning and hours of samples. Earlier this year, unauthorized mashups like the Drake-Weeknd collaboration went viral on social media. It even racked up thousands of plays on Spotify before Universal Music Group stepped in and asked the DSP to crack down on AI uploads.

Given the accessibility of AI voice training technology, the question remains how the music industry will adapt to this new technology. Producer and DJ DJ Fresh thinks he has the answer, so he’s teamed up with software developer Nico Pellerin to break new ground. VoiceSwap’s goal is to create artist-authorized AI speech models. After registering and agreeing to use their voice, artists will receive a 50% share of the revenue generated by their voice model on the VoiceSwap platform.

VoiceSwap currently only includes the vocals of five artists: Angie Brown, Nikki Ambers, Dominique Young Unique, Jamie McCool, and Liam Bailey. DJ Fresh says he hopes to expand the platform to hundreds of other artists. He also invites artists to submit their singing voices to be included in the platform. The claim is that VoiceSwap only takes about 25 minutes of singing, or eight a cappella tracks, to accurately recreate a vocal clone of an artist’s voice.

Artists retain ownership of all AI-generated recordings using their language model. Once a track has been created, a user can use VoiceSwap to contact representatives of the artist to discuss the possibility of a commercial release of the created track. The Artist is under no obligation to agree to any license or feature for any Recording made through the Platform.

VoiceSwap sees itself as a “robust rights and permissions framework” and not just as a vocal cloning tool. The aim is to combat the unauthorized commercial use of an artist’s voice. Part of that effort is to use patented technology to trace every vocal recording back to its source to prevent piracy. The service is currently only available as a subscription. Plans range from $5.99 per month to $29.99 per month. Users can test the service by accessing one minute’s worth of credit for free.