Key Takeaways from Robert Kyncl’s Q&A: AI, Label Necessity, and More at Code Conference.


Warner Music Group CEO, Robert Kyncl, recently spoke about the relevance and importance of traditional music labels in today’s music ecosystem. Despite the rise of digital platforms and indie distribution platforms, Kyncl argued that labels have a significant role to play in building and sustaining an artist’s career. He compared the music industry to the advertising industry, which many believed would become irrelevant with the arrival of Google’s AdWords. However, ad agencies adapted and provided value by navigating the complexity of different platforms and technologies. Kyncl also discussed the impact of AI on the music industry, predicting that the music business will be at the forefront of exploiting AI’s potential and addressing issues of regulation and monetization.

Kyncl further explained that the music industry will experience AI’s impact before other industries do due to music’s alignment with the internet, short format, and its widespread distribution. AI threatens the rights of artists and music rights holders, similar to how user-generated content infringed on copyright in the past. Kyncl drew a parallel between YouTube’s Content ID system and the need for a similar system to address AI-generated content. He emphasized the importance of embracing technology and developing thoughtful solutions to ensure artists have a choice. Kyncl also expressed his belief that the streaming audio business will not face the same problems as the streaming video business, as music has proven to be more resilient and has witnessed remarkable growth in subscription models.

In conclusion, Kyncl’s remarks highlighted the ongoing relevance of traditional music labels and their role in building and sustaining artists’ careers in an increasingly complex music ecosystem. He also emphasized the need for the music industry to lead in utilizing AI’s potential and addressing the challenges it presents, and highlighted the resilience and growth of the streaming audio business compared to the streaming video business.

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