Sony Music Chairman Urges Streamers to Regulate ‘Poor Quality Content,’ Strikes Positive Note on AI
At an investor presentation, Rob Stringer talked "lowest common denominator" content and AI's potential to open "avenues for commercial exploitation."
Sony Music Group chairman Rob Stringer said on Tuesday (May 23) that the company is focused on the fight against low-quality content — which he called ”the lowest common denominator” — flooding top streaming platforms.
“We have to look after the premium quality artists at the top of our business,” Stringer said during a company-wide presentation to investors. “We think that’s what draws people to [digital service providers].”
It’s top Sony artists like Harry Styles, Beyonce, SZA and Miley Cyrus who draw subscribers to the streaming platforms, Stringer said, before calling on those platforms to regulate “poor quality content” and streaming fraud and/or move to new payment models that disincentivize that content.
Stringer was also peppered with questions about artificial intelligence and the impact it may have on Sony, for better or worse. Striking an overall positive tone, Stringer said he’s optimistic about the ways in which AI can be used to police the unauthorized use of Sony’s copyrighted material and to enhance musicians’ artistry.
“We’re in the early stages of AI in terms of how it can be developed for the music business,” Stringer said. “We are particularly interested in the tech that can protect our content so that when musical content goes through the generative AI process we basically know if it’s our content or not. We are particularly interested in how we tag our content” for this reason.
In prepared remarks during the presentation, Stringer also said AI will help uncover greater levels of insight and potentially new licensing channels and “avenues for commercial exploitation.”
“There is a lot of opportunity in this area to be excited about throughout our company,” he said. “We are greatly aware of the challenges ahead too. We will protect our creators on every level possible whether it be creative, financial or legal in basis. Infringement and unauthorized usage of their rights should be the basis for a unique new set of artist and songwriter protections industry-wide. Tech does not simply overrule art.”