Most music fans want restrictions on what A.I. can do, study finds

A new study has found that the majority of music fans are in favour of restrictions being imposed on the use of A.I.

The new research was published as part of Engaging With Music 2023 – a report carried out by the IFPI which examined how fans around the world engage with and feel about music.

It collected responses from more than 43,000 people across 26 different countries, and is billed as the largest music study of its kind which seeks a detailed insight into fan thinking. Now, for the first time, the report has included a section dedicated to the rising influence of artificial intelligence and the way it is impacting artists.


According to the results of this year’s survey, the most important thing to fans is the authenticity behind the music they consume – with 79 per cent claiming that they think human creativity is the most essential part of the creation of music.

Similarly, the vast majority of participants also shared their concern and opposition towards the ability of A.I. to mimic and recreate the repertoire of existing musicians, with a similar percentage (76 per cent) sharing that they feel that an artist’s music or vocals should not be ingested by A.I. without permission.

Dj working on digital mixing control at home recording studio - stock photo
Dj working on digital mixing control at home recording studio – stock photo. CREDIT: mixetto/Getty Images

In a similar finding from the report, 74 per cent agreed that A.I. should not be used to clone or impersonate musicians without their consent.

This comes particularly after an AI-generated collaboration featuring vocals mimicking Drake and The Weeknd was removed from streaming platforms earlier this year, and later deemed as not eligible for Grammy consideration.

Finally, most agreed that there was a need for more transparency when it came to the use of the technology in songwriting, with 73 per cent agreeing that it should be clearly listed when something was made using an A.I. system.


“While music fans around the world see both opportunities and threats for music from artificial intelligence, their message is clear: authenticity matters,” said Frances Moore, IFPI’s chief executive about the findings (via MusicWeek).

“In particular, fans believe that A.I. systems should only use music if pre-approved permission is obtained and that they should be transparent about the material ingested by their systems. These are timely reminders for policymakers as they consider how to implement standards for responsible and safe A.I.”

Recording equipment in studio. Studio microphone with headphones and mixer background. Elevated view
Recording equipment in studio. Studio microphone with headphones and mixer background. Elevated view. CREDIT: Davizro/Getty Images

A similar number of concerns were also put forward by the Council of Music Makers (CMM), which published five fundamental rules that they want companies to embrace when it comes to developing music A.I. technologies in September.

These included protecting the privacy rights of musicians and ensuring permission is sought before using their work, as well as the fair distribution of financial rewards gathered by A.I.-assisted music.

More recently, the CMM also shared an open letter about the “profoundly tone-deaf” government hearing on the impact of artificial intelligence. UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl urged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to respond to the music industry’s concerns around A.I. by introducing some form of legal protection around the developing technology.