Is AI Going to Ruin Music? Rick Beato Predicts That Labels Will ’Get Rid of the Artists Because People Don’t Care’

Producer and one of the biggest music-oriented YouTubers, Rick Beato, recently shared a new video where he discussed the impact of AI on music and the music industry. According to Beato, the future doesn’t look good, or it just looks incredibly weird compared to what we’re used to. Firstly, Rick remembered the recent example of how a TikTok user named ghostwriter977 shared a Drake-style song with AI Drake vocals, offering:

“The TikTok video by ghostwriter977 was taken down. The YouTube video, however, was blocked and it says ‘This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Universal Music Group.'”

Then came the important question — who owns the AI-generated music if it has a copy of someone’s voice? Rick added:

“Okay, does Universal Music Group own this? Because this is created by someone else. This is an original composition. Are they saying they own Drake’s voice? Because if someone does a parody, or if they do an imitation of Drake, that’s fair use.”

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After listening to a few tunes with AI generated vocals, including Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” that features vocals that are eerily similar to Kurt Cobain’s voice, Rick decided to share his 2 cents on the matter. His predictions were bleak, to say the least. But, in all honesty, they feel like they’re very possible to happen. He offered:

“Okay, here’s my predictions. What’s going on with AI right now is exactly what happened when Napster came out in 1999. College kids started sharing MP3s, the labels didn’t know what to do about it, you had artists like Metallica suing people, everybody went insane, and the music business just completely fell off a cliff. And they really never figured out what to do until streaming, years later.”

But then, there was also the issue of modern technology making the whole recording process much simpler. He said:

“Another thing happened around 1999 as people started using Pro Tools all the time. Manufacturers of tape machines couldn’t sell them. So a $40,000 tape machine, like I have in my control room here, I bought for 1500 bucks in 2008 or something, it was worth nothing. These things were so expensive that no one used them. Everyone was using Pro Tools in the box recording.”

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And what about those digital amp modelers and profilers? Rick adds:

“Another thing that happened — these amps back here, the speaker cabinets, those weigh about 80 pounds apiece, these 4×12 cabinets, and the heads are about 50 pounds. If you don’t have someone to help you, it’s almost impossible to move it and to bring it to a gig and lug it in. Nobody wants to do that anymore.”

“So what do they have now? They have these plugins like Tim Henson’s plugin here on this laptop that all you need to do is have a little interface and plug in your laptop, and it comes through the speakers on stage. And you don’t even need a real amp anymore. All you got to do is carry your laptop with you. Or carry an Axe-Fx or a Neural DSP Quad Cortex, whatever it is. You don’t need to carry stuff around. It’s all about convenience.”

“Technology never moves backwards. It just doesn’t. AutoTune — once people started using AutoTune in 1998, with Cher, people started using it, it just never stopped. Still hasn’t stopped. People are not going to stop using AI. They’re going to use it more and more and more. The only question is what are the labels going to do about it, what are the artists going to do about it, and what are the fans going to do about it?”

One thing that Rick also brought up was how Grimes was cool with everyone using the AI replica of her voice, as long as she receives her cut. Rick continued:

“I was just reading an article that my friend Rich told me about the artist Grimes who’s a lo-fi hip-hop dance artist who said in a tweet, I believe last week that you can use her voice for AI music. She just wants 50% of the money from it.”

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“And as these things get better and better, you’re going to hear mashups of things, you’re going to hear things that sound like they could be lost tracks of deceased artists. It’s just going to keep happening more and more and more.”

“Then all the fights are going to start. You think this Ed Sheeran Marvin Gaye lawsuit is big? We’ll wait till this starts happening. Does Drake own the sound of his voice? Or the record label that he’s signed to? [Does] UMG own the sound of his voice? Or is this an original composition that’s fair use?”

“AI is here to stay, whether it’s someone inputting Chris Cornell’s voice and having Layne Staley’s voice or Kurt Cobain’s voice or Eddie Vedder’s voice or Bing Crosby’s voice come out on the other side — that’s going to keep happening. And they’re going to be impossible to chase down, all of these.”

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“The other thing that’s going to happen is that the artists are going to say, ‘I’m fine with this, I just want to get my 50% or 100% of it,’ or whatever. And they’ll fight with the record labels to who owns what. And there’s going to be Drake, and then Drake AI. There’s going to be The Beatles, and then The Beatles AI. This is going to be on Apple Music, it’s going to be on Spotify, it’s going to be everywhere. Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix AI, The Weeknd, The Weeknd AI… And people will accept these.”

“As a matter of fact, many of them will like the AI versions better than the original artists. At first, the labels are going to be like, ‘Oh, this is great. We have this new source of revenue that we never knew is going to exist. This is amazing.’ And the artists are going to say the exact same thing. And so the record labels are saying, ‘Well, why do we even need to share the money with the artists? We need to just create our own artists.'”

At the end of the video, Beato also shared what is probably the bleakest prediction of the future of music industry. After looking into the official statement by UMG after the whole AI Drake thing happened. He said:

“In fact, this is a statement UMG put out about this Drake situation here. It says ‘UMG success has been, in part, due to embracing new technologies and putting it to work for artists as we’ve been doing with our own innovation around AI for some time already.'”

“Oh, really?”

“‘With that said, however, the training of generative AI using our artists’ music, which represents both the breach of our agreements and violation of copyright law, as well as the availability of infringing content created with generative AI on DSPs begs the question as to which side of history all stakeholders in the music ecosystem want to be on? The side of artists fans, human creative expression, or on the side of deep fakes fraud and denying artists their due compensation?'”

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In Rick’s opinion, artists won’t matter anymore. You’ll just have rights to someone’s voice or music and you’ll be making a whole lot of AI in the style of whatever band or artists you want. As he explained:

“They are going to actually just get rid of the artists. They’ll make the money from Drake AI and The Beatles AI and whoever. But they’re going to make a bulk of their money, I predict, from fake artists, from AI artists. Because people don’t care. I’m sorry. Just like people don’t care whether they’re playing through a real amp or not. None of the young bands that I go out and see care. That’s going to happen.”

“But then you got things like Spotify and Apple Music. Now, Spotify is gonna be like, ‘Well, we’re the distributor of this.’ Unless UMG is putting out their own streaming thing. But Spotify basically has that, so does Apple Music. Okay, so Spotify is gonna be like, ‘Well, we don’t need the record labels for this. Why do we need the record labels? We’ll just put out our own AI artists. We have the distribution!'”


“So they’ll create their their own. And then the record labels will be fighting to compete with Spotify and their AI artists.”

“Now, you could have a complete fracturing of the streaming model. Since UMG owns so much of the music that’s on Spotify and Apple Music, they get threatened to take it away if Spotify doesn’t cut them in on their own AI artists. I mean, it’s insane to think about all this stuff that’s going to happen. But it’s going to happen.”

“Think about all the TV platforms. You got Netflix, Disney, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Apple TV, Paramount Plus, ESPN Plus, there’s millions of them. It’s completely fragmented. Who knows? Maybe I’m gonna have an AI version of me and then write my scripts with chat GPT and you’ll just think it’s me making the videos but it’s actually really an AI simulation of me.”

Does the future seem so bleak? Is this the inevitable evolutionary step in the world of music? While we can’t predict the future, we can say that Rick’s theories seem plausible.

Photos: Getty Images


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.