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Twitch launches rights-cleared music via indie distributors and labels.

Twitch announced on September 30th, that it’s been developing a new creator tool for the past year called Soundtrack by Twitch, offering rights-cleared music for livestreams via partnerships with a number of labels and distributors. The repertoire of these distributors, including more than a million tracks by those independent acts, will now be available, fully rights-cleared to be used by Twitch streamers.

Soundtrack will have more than a million tracks available from over 30 music companies at launch, including the likes of UnitedMasters, DistroKid, CDBaby, Anjunabeats, SoundCloud, EMPIRE, Future Classic and Nuclear Blast. All independent businesses, which obviously means no deals with Sony, Universal or Warner. A while ago, Jeff Bezos was asked if Amazon-owned livestreaming platform Twitch was licensed for recorded music, he didn't know at the time, but since then Twitch has struck licensing deals with a clutch of global distributors that work with indie artists, in addition to a handful of indie labels from around the world.

The Soundtrack beta features genre-focused Stations and Playlists of regularly updated curated tracks. The beta launches today and will roll out to all Twitch streamers over the next few weeks. The Playlists and Stations are curated by “select streamers and industry partners” and Twitch also states that its in-house curation team will be adding new Playlists and Stations regularly.

Music from Soundtrack will have its own audio channel so that music can be played during livestreams “without worrying about your archives being muted or receiving strikes against your Twitch channel” according to Twitch.

Strikes are copyright infringement notices. Multiple prominent Twitch users have reported to receive these strikes for unlicensed music used in clips posted on their channels. Twitch commented;

"We know how important the music is to your creative process, and have heard how frustrating it is to understand and navigate the complex and evolving music ecosystem"

The company used to threatened to terminate the accounts of “repeat infringers” and claimed that it was taking this action against its users because it had received “a sudden influx of DMCA takedown requests for clips with background music from 2017-19”.

Twitch was legally required to comply with Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests served by rights-holders (like record labels) or an entity representing rightsholders like the RIAA, in order to be protected under US safe harbor laws – and thus, like YouTube, not be liable for infringing user generated content. Twitch will need to continue complying with takedown requests for music it hasn’t licensed.

Soundtrack by Twitch is highlighting the platform’s growing prominence in the music industry. In April Twitch announced they poached Tracy Chan from Spotify as Head of Product and Engineering for Music.

In September, Amazon Music partnered with Twitch to incorporate its live streaming functionality into the Amazon Music app on IOS and Android.

Ghazi Shami of Empire said;

Gaming and music drive today's culture and soundtrack is the next essential step to support this thriving community.

Philip Kaplan, Founder/CEO of DistroKid, added:

“Twitch is quickly becoming a dominant force in the music industry, and DistroKid’s million+ artists can all benefit from Soundtrack.”

Anjunabeats said:

“We’re thrilled to bring a selection of our catalogue to Soundtrack. The crossover between gaming and dance music runs deep, and it’s a thrill for us when fans discover our catalogue through a Twitch creator.”

Jeff Ponchick VP, Head of Repost at SoundCloud, added:

“We Believe that Twitch is a companion platform to SoundCloud in that we are both passionate about helping creators make a living through their audiences online, on their own terms.
“We are excited to partner with such a like minded platform In an effort to build towards a uniform goal of creator empowerment.”

Don Diablo added:

“I believe that the best moments in life bring us together. Great moments deserve great music. I am grateful and excited to contribute to the Twitch community by making my music available on Soundtrack to fuel new memories.”

Dig Dis! said:

“We think that Soundtrack offers a great chance not only for streamers to be able to find some great music for their streams but also for artists and their music to be discovered and recognized.”

mxmtoon said:

“I was excited to participate in Soundtrack because I know how much my own audience loves to listen to music alongside me, and the thought of allowing other creators the opportunity to have access to my music was extremely exciting.”

Source: https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/twitch-still-unlicensed-by-majors-launches-rights-cleared-music-via-deals-with-indie-distributors-and-labels/