Can AI be America’s next top idol?
April 30th, 2024, Bhavika Bansal

Can AI be America’s next top idol?

Americans, especially Gen Z, are interested in music created or enhanced using AI - but are concerned about the lack of originality and other implications.

  • Nearly half of Gen Z is interested in the use of AI to complete music (49%) while two-fifths are interested in new music created using AI (40%).
  • Americans who are confident about spotting the use of AI in music are likelier to support artists who use such tools compared to all American adults (39% vs. 11%).
  • Lack of originality (55%), reduction in employment (55%), and ethical and legal implications (55%) are the top three concerns about the use of AI in music composition.

The Beatles surprised fans with the recent release of “Now and Then”, an unfinished Beatles song, 45 years after John Lennon started writing it. In what is probably the band’s last collaborative effort, the emotional ballad features Lennon’s vocals isolated and enhanced using AI software. Across the music industry, more music producers, sound engineers, composers and singers are now embracing generative AI tools like BandLab, Endel, Lyria, etc., to overcome writer's block, customize soundtracks and more.

The use of AI tech in creating music raises important questions. Can listeners tell AI-created compositions apart from originals? Would they support artists who use AI to create or enhance their compositions? A new YouGov Surveys: Self-Serve poll of 1,000 US adults covers people's views about AI-composed pieces and looks at concerns over the use of artificial intelligence to create or enhance musical compositions.

Are Americans aware of the use of AI in music creation and confident about spotting it?

More than two-thirds of Americans say they heard of AI tech being used to create or complete musical compositions (69%), however, just one out of five are confident that they can spot the use of such AI technology in music (21%).

Would Americans support artists who use AI?

According to the survey results, confidence in being able to spot the use of AI tech in music is a key factor in determining support for artists who use such tools in their process. 

Nearly two-fifths of American adults - who are “very” or “somewhat” confident about spotting the use of AI in music compositions - say they are more likely to support artists who it in their music-making process (39%).

Comparatively, only one out of ten of all American adults (11%) say the same. 

How interested are Americans in listening to music completed or created using AI?

49% of Gen Z Americans (those born in 1997 or later) say they would be interested in listening to music that has been completed or enhanced using artificial intelligence. 

Aligning closely with the national average, a substantially smaller proportion of millennials and older generations (those born before 1997) share the same opinion (36%).

A similar dichotomy can be seen when it comes to interest in music created using AI. 

Compared to two-fifths of Gen Z Americans (40%), less than a third of millennials and older generations (30%) say they would be interested in hearing their favorite artists’ voices or musical style in new songs created by AI. 

What concerns Americans about the use of AI tech in music?

The lack of originality and uniqueness is the top concern among adults in the US (59%) when it comes to the use of AI tech to create or complete musical compositions. This is followed by concerns about employment opportunities for musicians and artists (55%) and ethical and legal implications like copyright infringement (55%).

One out of three American adults are concerned about the increased commodification of music (35%), and more than a quarter say they are worried about the reduction in diversity of musical genres (28%).

There is substantial interest in musical compositions created or completed using artificial intelligence, Americans are far likelier to support artists if they are confident that they can spot such AI use. However, this interest doesn’t come without its concerns, and finding the right balance while using AI in musical composition can be key in keeping American audiences hooked.

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Methodology: YouGov polled 1,000 US adults online between April 4-5, 2024. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, race, political affiliation, education level and region. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.