Amper Music: The Columbia University Startup Implementing Artificial Intelligence Into the Music Industry
Music creation, whether for production, movies, video games, or advertisement, can be challenging. Creating unique, quality music to enhance the message of the content has become exceedingly frustrating given the plethora of licensing and financial difficulties. With an extreme demand for specifically-tailored music and not much supply, there is a tremendous need for innovation.
Amper Music, a startup out of Columbia University, has created an artificial intelligence program that can produce tailored music, almost instantly. The program has a variety of applications; whether being utilized for business and marketing or music production, it offers a unique experience with endless possibilities. With its intensive personalization capabilities, Amper allows the user to select the length, style, and structure required to ensure that the music perfectly fits their intended usage. Outside of creation, Amper Music provides an easy solution to the legal and financial hardships commonly associated with music licensing. The music created with Amper comes with a royalty-free, global, perpetual license. Amper Music optimizes music production and usage by eliminating the time wasted searching for and editing music, as well as the licensing difficulties that often prohibit utilization of music that suits the subject.
“I saw editors and producers spending inordinate amounts of time culling through databases of cataloged music, and then dealing with licensing hurdles, variable quality, and limited product flexibility.” -Drew Silverstein, Co-founder of Amper Music
Amper Music was founded by Columbia University graduate Drew Silverstein, along with Sam Estes and Michael Hobe. Silverstein moved to Hollywood after graduating in 2011 with an undergraduate music degree from Vanderbilt. During his time in Hollywood, he worked with Christopher Lennertz, one of Hollywood’s most accomplished film composers. He began composing music for films, and, in turn, met his future co-founders. Silverstein began working with Estes and Hobe, who were also composers, and together they collectively realized the inefficiencies and economic struggles of music creation and composition. Once they had developed the idea for Amper, Silverstein moved to New York to attend Columbia Business School. Three years later, Silverstein had received his business degree from Columbia, and had finally developed Amper Music to commercial potential.
“I see a lot of parallels between what it takes to succeed in both music and business. When I’m practicing piano, I focus on the details – a specific set of measures, for example – until I’ve accomplished what I set out to learn today. I can then place this progress in the context of the entire piece and see the small steps build into meaningful progress.” -Drew Silverstein, Co-founder of Amper Music
From there, Amper Music began their first round of funding in 2015. They raised 1.1 million dollars, allowing them to develop their product further and preparing them for their beta pilot release. They started gaining traction and received attention from numerous companies across the nation. They continued to grow and completed two additional funding rounds, raising a total of 9.1 million dollars. Since then, they have closed their beta and signed a plethora of media companies and creative agencies. Amper is continuing to expand both the capabilities of its product and its application in the creative industry.
“One of our core beliefs as a company is that the future of music is going to be created in the collaboration between humans and AI. We want that collaborative experience to propel the creative process forward. If we’re going to do that, we have to teach computers to be intrinsically creative.” -Drew Silverstein, Co-founder of Amper Music
This Untold College Spotlight Initiative story is all about innovation that generates criticism and resistance, but persistence seems to eliminate the doubt and reveal the potential. When Amper Music began to grow, many believed that the use of artificial intelligence in music was cheating, but Silverstein, along with the rest of the Amper Music team, eventually displayed the effectiveness and efficiency of their product. If you have an idea for a potential business that comes with criticism and doubt, be persistent! Challenge that resistance with development and innovation to establish the benefit and potential of your business.