‘AI-driven’ Label of Snafu: Will it Replace Record Executives with Technology?

Snafu’s investor ABBA is looking for sounds from India. ABBA is a Swedish pop group that has anticipated its first album, Voyage, in 40 years. It will be streaming on the air on November 5. But before the release, the legendary comeback band sprinkled stardust on Snafu Records, a music label headed by an Indian. 

Snafu has introduced a new approach to search for music talent. Agnetha Fältskog, the ABBA singer, has joined a $6 million funding round for AI-powered record label Snafu records. Other investors, including American songwriters as well as Grammy nominee Savan Harish Kotecha were included in the funding round. 

Snafu, a Los-Angeles based, “AI-enabled” business label, has officially launched its platform and raised $2.9 million in seed funding. Snafu Records, an AI-driven record label, claims to be “the first full-service record label built on AI-music discovery.” Moreover, it is operated by the “A&Rs, technologists, creatives, and producers,” including those previously employed by Sony/ATV, Universal, Capitol, and BMG, who worked with the likes of Shawn Mendes, David Guetta, Ariana Grande.

Since Snafu was founded in March 2018, it has signed 50 artists from across the globe, including Mumbai-based playback singer Armaan Malik and singer-songwriter Raghav Meattle. The label has secured a good amount in venture capital from Agnetha Fältskog (from ABBA), Day One Ventures, TrueSight Ventures, John Bonten, Jesper Theil Thomsen (Founder of Soundboks), Nicholas Shekerdemian (Founder of Headstart.io), and Samanta Hegedus Stewart, amongst others.

The record label says that its proprietary algorithms analyze all open platforms like Youtube, Spotify, TIKTOK, and SoundCloud, scraping 150,000 unsigned tracks each week. Snafu looks for the earliest indicators of the hit starting by going through music streaming figures, tweets, playlist additions, blog posts, and other platforms that help identify indicators of popularity.

What is Snafu?

Snafu Records is a music tech company. The independent record label was founded in 2018 by CEO Ankit Desai; it has offices in Mumbai, Bogota, and Los Angeles. The AI-driven company claims to be “the world’s first AI-driven record label,” it uses its proprietary algorithms to identify “undervalued independent artists from data collected from social media and music streaming platforms. 

SNAFU’s staff consists of “A&Rs, technologists, creatives, music industry veterans, and producers,” including songwriter and producer Carl Falk as Creative Director. The AI-driven company has worked with some of the most prominent artists in the world, including Avicii, Ariana Grande, Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Nicki Minaj, Armaan Malik, Taylor Swift, and Foster The People, to name a few.

Check What Snafu CEO, Ankit Desai Share About the Platform

Founder and CEO of Snafu Records Ankit Desai shares, “We started the company because we wanted to build a bridge for the thousands of hidden artists there whose music the world is dying to hear, but don’t get an opportunity to show their talent.” “Since launch, we have utilized our technology to sign, identify, and help artists from Stockholm to Singapore, from Arkansas to India, all while being based in Los Angeles and Stockholm.”

Further talking Ankit said, “it still feels like a drop in the ocean.” “We see things are working, but we need more firepower; hence we said, ‘let’s try to do even more and experience how we can help independent artists.”

And the result was the latest funding, with the help of which the company has built two new features called:

1. Blurry

2. FineArt

Desai said the primary source for revenue for the company is from taking a cut of the rights to an artist they sign in themselves on the platform. Snafu has a roster of around 50 artists; the company uses AI to scan a million songs per week and analyze factors that could determine the artist’s success. 

These include overall popularity, song structure, and how listeners are gossiping about them on social platforms. Presently the platform mainly focuses on YouTube, TikTok, and Spotify, but the founder Ankit Desai said the company is looking to include other audio streaming platforms like Bandcamp and SoundCloud soon.

Snafu Records In-depth Story to Look into- Blurry & FineArt Concept Explained!

Social media has made it straightforward for producers and musicians to get discovered; however, they still have to impress the music streaming industry gatekeepers to make it big, and those executives are typically white men persuaded by their biases, whether they intend it or not.

The report shows that around 86% of the music industry’s executives are male and white, and under 20% of executives at the level of vice president or higher are from minority groups. Little surprise, Snafu Records Ankit Desai believes the streaming industry is overdue for a change in how to promote, discover, and sell artist careers, and he advises utilizing AI for doing the same. 

Snafu launched two new features, Blurry, a platform for songwriters to search collaborators, as well as FineArt, a system that lets the company and its artists co-invest in funding a breakout artist’s career.

The idea behind Blurry was to create a “Spotify for unreleased music.” The AI-driven company uses its network and marketing strategy to amplify the talents that it identifies. “For artists, the process of finding the next collaborator or next song has always been extremely slow and most of the times very random,” says the founder of Snafu. 

Further adding Desai said, with Blurry, the music label wants to blur out everything else and focus on music to help build a community of collaborators and artists. 

“Some of the best songwriters have a hard drive full of songs. We want to put it all on a cloud and match the right song with the artist using AI,” Desai concluded.

One of the significant challenges for artists, especially in emerging music streaming markets including Latin America, Africa, and India, is financing. Thus FineArt will use algorithms to predict the streaming potential of the song, and based on the estimated revenue expected; the label will finance artists upfront. 

“Simply because of macro trends like streaming adaptation, money being invested, giving rise to infrastructure that is moving in the same direction,” the 30 years old adds. With a team of 20, Snafu tries to unearth the rough diamonds from millions of songs. Can AI find a needle in a haystack? A bulk of the materials are not good, or there is much noise, CEO of Snafu shares.

“The foremost thing we do is scan Twitter, Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, and SoundCloud.” “I think it’s a good song, from where we start monitoring, how quickly a song is growing, how passionately fans are talking about it, and its structure compared to what’s working today,” Desai explains. The algorithm computes and ranks songs based on the parameters, which enable the labels to predict the chances of success for the song. 

Summing It Up

Technology has undoubtedly evolved the way people consume streaming content. However, it has also changed the way how streaming content is composed and launched for the audience. Technology such as AI has proven as a tool to filter the sheer volume to a level where one can sort through the music manually. 

A tiny start-up like Snafu faces many challenges of talking to decades-old music companies that are poles apart in terms of personnel and dominate the industry. According to Desai, one of the most significant difficulties now is the shift because it changes things for artists and us.” AI has impacted the music sector over the years, and modern technology is already used in many ways. 

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Created in 2013, Alphanso Tech is a leading IT Consulting company with a presence in the USA, Canada, and India.We are a trusted and leading service provider to many top-tier companies in the area of Custom WordPress Development , Web Application Development , iOS App Development , Outsourcing Services, Online Marketing and many other related activities.

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