Udio.com - Are Film Composers Out of a Job?

Zach Heyde
15 Apr 202406:18

TLDRIn this video, the speaker addresses concerns that AI might replace human film composers. Despite the impressive capabilities of AI in generating music from brief prompts, the speaker argues that there's still a strong case for composers to thrive. They suggest that AI will likely appeal to those seeking music quickly and cheaply, while human composers can offer a more personalized and memorable experience. The speaker advises composers to focus on building relationships, leveraging non-musical skills, and not competing solely on price and speed. They emphasize the importance of human connection and the unique value composers bring beyond just the music. The video concludes with an offer to join a composing career boot camp for further guidance.


  • 🎵 The quality of AI-generated music can be impressive, raising concerns about the future of human composers.
  • 💡 There's still a strong case for composers to make a living in the industry without competing with AI.
  • 🚫 Not all clients will opt for AI-generated music; it's more likely to be chosen for fast and cheap projects.
  • 🎬 For those starting in the industry, building relationships is crucial, not just offering music.
  • 🍽️ Clients pay for more than just music; they're paying for an experience, which AI cannot replicate.
  • 👥 Focus on building human relationships and providing a memorable experience to clients.
  • 💡 Now is a good time to start a composing career by building solid relationships and standing out from AI.
  • 🚫 Avoid sending default templates to directors and producers; personalize your approach to build real connections.
  • 🎓 Use your non-musical skills to differentiate yourself in the industry.
  • 💰 Do not build your business around competing on price and speed; focus on quality and relationships.
  • 🌟 Embrace what makes you unique beyond your music; this is what clients will come to you for.

Q & A

  • What is the main concern raised by Timothy Shortell in his use of the AI app?

    -Timothy Shortell's main concern is whether film composers will be out of a job due to the high-quality music that can be generated with just a one to two sentence prompt using AI technology.

  • What is the author's opinion on the future of composing as a profession despite the rise of AI?

    -The author believes that there is still a strong case for composers to make a living in the industry without having to compete with AI, although there will be certain caveats and specific market segments that might be more affected.

  • Who is most likely to opt for AI-generated music according to the transcript?

    -People who want music quickly and at a low cost are most likely to opt for AI-generated music. It is also a strong contender for those looking for library music that can be easily and cost-effectively integrated into their projects.

  • What is the author's advice for composers just starting out in the industry?

    -The author advises new composers to focus on building human relationships with clients and directors before seeking work, as these relationships can lead to trust and, ultimately, paid opportunities.

  • What is the comparison the author makes between a memorable dining experience and a client's expectations for a composer?

    -The author compares a memorable dining experience, which involves not just the food but also the ambiance and service, to a client's expectations for a composer. Clients are not just paying for the music but also for the overall experience and the relationship with the composer.

  • Why does the author argue against building a business around competing on price and speed?

    -The author argues against it because AI will eventually become the cheapest and fastest option, making it unsustainable to compete on those grounds. Instead, composers should focus on building strong human relationships and offering unique skills and music that technology cannot replicate.

  • What are some actionable strategies the author suggests for composers interested in a full-time composing career?

    -The author suggests exercising humanity by building real relationships, exploring and using non-musical skills, and not building a business around competing on price and speed.

  • How does the author relate the concept of 'humanity' to the process of composing music?

    -The author relates 'humanity' to the personal touch and unique qualities that composers bring to their work, which cannot be replicated by AI. This includes the relationships they build with clients and the individual creative process that leads to the music.

  • What role do non-musical skills play in a composer's career according to the author?

    -Non-musical skills play a significant role as they can be used to differentiate oneself in the industry, attract clients, and create additional opportunities. The author cites his own experience with making YouTube videos as an example.

  • What is the 'composing career boot camp' mentioned by the author?

    -The 'composing career boot camp' is a program created by the author to help composers build a successful career in the industry. It provides tools and strategies to help composers stand out and succeed, as evidenced by positive testimonials from previous students.

  • How does the author encourage composers to view the industry despite the rise of AI?

    -The author encourages composers to view the industry with optimism, focusing on building solid relationships and offering unique value beyond just the music. He emphasizes that there is still a place for human creativity and personal connection in the industry.



🎼 The Impact of AI on the Music Composition Industry

The speaker begins by addressing the concerns raised by the music industry regarding AI-generated music, prompted by an experience shared by composer Timothy Shortell. The discussion emphasizes that while AI can produce music from simple prompts, there is still a strong case for human composers. The speaker argues that clients seeking quality and a memorable experience are unlikely to fully replace human composers with AI. They suggest that composers should focus on building relationships, offering more than just music, and providing a unique and personalized experience. The speaker also advises against competing with AI on price and speed, and instead, leverage their humanity and non-musical skills to stand out in the industry.


💼 Building a Sustainable Career in Music Composition

The second paragraph delves into strategies for composers interested in pursuing a full-time career. It warns against building a business model based solely on being the cheapest or fastest option, as AI will eventually surpass humans in these areas. Instead, the focus should be on fostering human connections and utilizing one's unique non-musical talents. The speaker shares personal experience, highlighting how embracing non-musical skills, such as creating YouTube videos, can contribute to a composer's success. The paragraph concludes with an invitation to join a composing career boot camp for more tools and support, aiming to provide optimism and guidance to composers amidst the challenges posed by technological advancements.




Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. In the context of the video, AI is used to generate music, which raises concerns about the future of human film composers. The video discusses the potential impact of AI on the music industry and the job security of composers.

💡Film Composers

Film composers are professionals who create original music to accompany films, enhancing the emotional impact and storytelling. The video explores the potential threat to their profession due to advancements in AI technology that can generate music autonomously. It emphasizes the importance of the human element in music composition and the unique experiences composers bring to their work.

💡Music Industry

The music industry encompasses the companies, individuals, and organizations that earn money from the creation and sale of music and music video content. The video discusses the current state of the music industry in relation to the advent of AI, suggesting that while AI might be a contender for certain types of music production, there is still a strong case for human composers, particularly those who offer a unique and personalized experience.

💡Library Music

Library music refers to pre-existing music tracks that can be licensed for use in various media productions, such as films, TV shows, and commercials. In the video, it is suggested that AI could become a strong contender for generating library music due to its speed and cost-effectiveness, potentially impacting composers who specialize in creating music for these purposes.

💡Indie Work

Indie work refers to independent projects often characterized by smaller budgets and a desire for quick turnaround times. The video mentions that composers working on indie projects might face competition from AI, which can produce music quickly and cheaply. However, it also suggests that the value composers provide goes beyond just the music, including the personal relationships and creative input they offer.


Humanity refers to the quality of being human, including attributes such as empathy, creativity, and personal connection. The video emphasizes the importance of composers exercising their humanity by building real relationships with clients, which AI cannot replicate. This human connection is a key differentiator for composers in the competitive landscape.

💡Non-Musical Skills

Non-musical skills are talents or abilities outside the realm of music composition, such as communication, technology, or business acumen. The video encourages composers to explore and utilize these skills to differentiate themselves in the industry. For example, the speaker mentions using video production skills to create YouTube content, which eventually led to more composing opportunities.

💡Price and Speed

Price and speed refer to the cost and time efficiency of a service or product. The video advises composers against building their business around competing solely on these factors, as AI can eventually outperform humans in terms of speed and cost. Instead, composers should focus on the quality of their work, the relationships they build, and the unique value they provide.

💡Composing Career Boot Camp

The Composing Career Boot Camp is a program mentioned in the video designed to help composers build a successful career in music composition. It provides tools and strategies for composers to stand out in the industry, emphasizing the importance of relationship-building and leveraging non-musical skills, rather than just focusing on price and speed.

💡Relationship Building

Relationship building is the process of establishing and nurturing positive connections with others. In the context of the video, it is a crucial strategy for composers to succeed in their careers. By focusing on building strong relationships with clients and colleagues, composers can create a personal brand that AI cannot replicate, leading to more opportunities and job security.


Technology refers to the tools, systems, and machinery used to fulfill specific tasks or functions. The video discusses the role of technology, particularly AI, in the music industry. While acknowledging the potential of AI to disrupt traditional roles, it also highlights the irreplaceable value of human creativity and the personalized experience that technology cannot provide.


AI's impact on the film composing industry is being discussed with the advent of AI-generated music.

Composer Timothy Shortell's experience with AI music generation app by Udio beta resulted in impressive outcomes.

There is a concern that AI could replace human composers, especially in the context of quick and cheap music production.

Despite AI advancements, there is still potential for composers to make a living in the industry without competing with AI.

AI is likely to be favored for library music and projects requiring quick and cost-effective solutions.

Composers should not fear AI but instead focus on building strong relationships with clients for a memorable experience.

Paying clients are not just buying music; they are also investing in the composer's ability to deliver a unique and personalized experience.

The analogy of a favorite restaurant experience is used to illustrate the value of human interaction and memorable experiences in the music industry.

AI and technology may not be able to replicate the personalized experience that human composers can provide.

Now is a great time to start a composing career by building solid relationships and offering more than just music.

Composers are advised to exercise their humanity by personalizing their interactions with directors and producers.

Utilizing non-musical skills can be a differentiating factor for composers in the industry.

The speaker initially dismissed the connection between making YouTube videos and composing, but later embraced it for career growth.

Composers should not build their business model around competing on price and speed, as AI can ultimately outperform humans in these aspects.

Focusing on human relationships and unique skills, rather than just music composition, is key to long-term success.

The Composing Career Boot Camp is recommended for composers looking for more tools to succeed in the industry.

The boot camp has received positive testimonials from previous students, indicating its effectiveness in helping composers.

The video aims to provide optimism and a beacon of light for composers who are serious about pursuing a career in music composition.