TikTok Owner ByteDance Acquires AI Startup

The parent company of TikTok, ByteDance, appears to have purchased a growing startup which creates and advances artificial intelligence-based music production software. This small firm, named “Jukedeck”, has recently announced new technology that can be used to mechanically create unique music and modify it after letting users alter the tempo, run-time and where the sound culminates.

TikTok is an app for iOS and Android that lets users create, upload and share short videos. Users can choose music to go along with their creation, typically videos include lip-sync, comedy or talent.

During October 2018, TikTok was named the most downloaded app in the USA. Since then, there have been many viral videos generated by the application’s userbase, and most of them have been based around copyrighted music. Jukedeck’s tool could help users sync their videos to the beat more easily. Being able to simply customise rhythm and track in app could lead to more users designing the music around the video – rather than designing the video around the music. This could give even people with a  lack of musical talent much more creative control over their work.

ByteDance Head Office, owner of TikTok and other information technology companies. Source: cnn.com

ByteDance Head Office, owner of TikTok and other information technology companies. Source: cnn.com

On a more practical note for TikTok, encouraging users to utilise AI-generated, copyright-free music instead of licensed songs means TikTok doesn’t need to pay for as much music and can increase their profits. Similar to Spotify, TikTok must negotiate with record labels and artists to keep afloat and generating its own music would get around that problem entirely. Another advantage is that if users want to take their videos off TikTok, they won’t have to worry about whether they can keep the licensed music or not.

Officially, the acquisition of Jukedeck has not yet been confirmed. However, the CEO of Jukedeck and many employees have recently changed to ByteDance as their employer on LinkedIn and the CEO is listed as a director of ByteDance’s AI Lab. Furthermore, Jukedeck’s website is offline and when accessed only shows a note saying “We can’t tell you more just yet, but we’re looking forward to continuing to fuel creativity using musical AI!”.

Thumbnail source: techcrunch.com