YouTube AI Art

YouTube Music Rolls Out Generative AI-Powered Playlist Art Creator


YouTube Music has introduced a new feature leveraging generative AI to let users easily create customized thumbnail art for their playlists. The idea is for YouTube Music listeners to have an effortless way to explore creative options and design one-of-a-kind playlist cover art.

Album Art AI

Users can access the tool by clicking on the default image of one of their existing playlists. They are then guided through selecting from various visual themes like nature, fantasy, or animals. Within each theme are prompt options to refine the image style, such as generating a pug “in the style of a Medieval Gothic painting” as seen on the right. After making their desired selections, users can click to generate AI-created images and choose one they like to become their new playlist thumbnail. Users can also go for a wild take by tapping randomize on the style option list. Either way is much more hands-on than the previous standard of just having YouTube create a cover image from the art of the first four songs on the playlist. The experimental art creator is available for English-language users in the U.S., with plans to expand availability in the near future.

“The guided experience allows users to effortlessly explore from a range of visual themes and options to create one-of-a-kind cover art that expresses the uniqueness of your personal playlists,” YouTube Music director of product management T. Jay Fowler explained in a blog post. “Struggling to find the perfect artwork for your 90’s R&B-inspired morning commute playlist? Don’t worry, we got you.”

YouTube likely aims to capitalize on the viral popularity of text-to-image models like Midjourney and DALL-E 3 as it looks to drive greater creation and personalization within its music service. In addition to the playlist art generator, YouTube Music announced another upcoming feature for its home tab aimed at improving usability. Users will soon see a module showcasing their recent favorite songs and artists at the top of the home page for quick access. For music streaming consumers, it means more opportunities to put their own personal stamp on playlists and profiles as AI capabilities advance. YouTube Music’s rollout of an AI art generator puts it at the forefront of this new wave of music tech creativity.

YouTube has been upping its AI options at an accelerating clip lately for both users and publishers. The new features fit with YouTube’s ongoing efforts to make AI a feature across the platform. The company recently debuted a synthetic image and video generator for YouTube Shorts videos called Dream Screen, analytics and brainstorming service YouTube Studio, and a mobile app called YouTube Create that comes with a suite of AI-assisted video creation and editing tools. Most recently, YouTube started embedding Google AI as an advertisement tool through its new “Spotlight Moments” package that leverages AI to find a video relevant to a holiday or major cultural moment like the Super Bowl and pushes ads across videos relevant to that topic or within a branded YouTube channel to produce a dynamic playlist.


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