“Censorship” is generally not a very appealing word, but there’s still plenty of money to be made on the process, especially as technology advances to the point where it becomes automatic. Apple has reportedly patented just such an automatic music censorship technology that we may begin to see rolled out in the near future.
Apple’s automatic music censorship patent has the official title “Management, Replacement and Removal of Explicit Lyrics during Audio Playback,” which will presumably be replaced with something a little catchier (iClean, maybe?) if it becomes a feature of Apple products in the future. The technology identifies objectionable words (that can potentially be programmed by the user) and replaces them with silence, cleaner substitutes, or even the old reliable bleep.
The automatic music censorship tech can also be applied to audiobooks and other audio material, possibly eliminating the need for specially produced “clean” versions of songs on the radio, should the technology take off. For now, you can read some more sh*t about this technology and Apple’s patent of it at Business Insider right here.