Could this be a solution when it comes to including music in podcasts?

As someone who writes and hosts The Ongoing History of New Music, a music-based radio show, the music is a source of constant frustration when it comes to converting these radio shows into podcast. To be clear, it is not permissible to use any music in podcasts, nor is there anywhere in the known universe where a podcaster can get a blanket license to include music.

Yes, many podcasters use short clips of songs, but that’s still not really allowed. But with millions and millions of podcasts out there, 17% of which use some kind of music, the likelihood of rightsholders clamping down on things is unlikely. Their efforts and money and lawyers would be better served in coming up with some kind of licensing situation.

That, however, is fraught with all kinds of difficulties. I won’t bore you with the technical details here, but suffice to say that I’ve talked with every conceivable group who has a stake in this problem and none of them have any answers. They know they’re leaving money on the table for themselves and their artists, but the complexities are–well, take it from me: they’re formidable.

One option that’s been suggested for Ongoing History is to break it up into its talking parts and load those segments into a streaming service like Spotify and let it play the music. Nice idea and it might get around the problem of illegally using music within a podcast, but again, it’s a tough thing to do from an uploading perspective. There’s no easy way to coordinate all the speaking bits with the music and to have everything come out in the proper order 100% of the time.

This is where Super Hi-Fi might be helpful. It’s offers “AI-powered music experiences” that maximum content and context when it comes to streaming. I quote:

“TODAY the space between songs is a barren wasteland of dead air and jarring, abrupt transitions. Each time a song changes on services today, major opportunities are being lost to connect with consumers in meaningful ways and radically improve their listening experience. We believe that the space between the songs is the next frontier for music services to elevate the experience and win with consumers.”

Among its claims, Super Hi-Fi says it provides what they call “dynamic interstitials.” Again, I quote: “AI that selects and artfully inserts content including personalities, artist interviews, podcast snippets, and news… virtually any audio you can dream of.”

Oh? Tell me more.

“Super Hi-Fi’s AI-driven, cloud-based solution connects directly with your music service, delivering real-time instructions on song placement, volume level, and much more. Each transition is uniquely programmed for that specific pairing, whether it is song-to-song, song-to-advertisement, song-to-content, or any other combination. Super Hi-Fi works almost instantly, it’s highly scalable, and it doesn’t interfere with your existing music delivery architecture. THE PLATFORM Super Hi-Fi consists of a layer of cloud services, APIs, and components/reference implementations for major mobile and desktop environments.”

Huh. Must investigate this.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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