Twitch just made a potential music licensing power play – but the major labels aren’t invited. A new tool called Soundtrack by Twitch will enable content creators to incorporate music from independent labels into their streams, and several electronic music labels and distributors are already onboard.
Soundtrack offers live streamers genre-specific playlists and stations comprised of 100% copyright-cleared music. At the time of writing, label partners include Ninja Tune, Future Classic, Anjunabeats and Monstercat. SoundCloud and DistroKid are among the distributors involved; each platform’s “Twitch Creator” feature means that their releases will be given priority by curators. Over 1 million tracks have been licensed so far, and Twitch hopes to satisfy as many niches as possible by adding new playlists and stations in the coming months.
Live Stream Race
While Soundtrack looks to open up monetization opportunities for electronic musicians, it will have little bearing on live streams of DJ sets themselves. Twitch still forbids content creators such as disc jockeys from incorporating copyright-protected music into their streams without authorization, and it doesn’t have a blanket license a la Mixcloud.
The average DJ may still fare better on Twitch than Facebook, however. After much confusion about how the latter platform’s October 1st update would affect DJ live streams, a spokesperson clarified that existing policies that have caused many content creators’ feeds to be muted will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.
Live streamers can sign up to test out the Soundtrack by Twitch beta on this waitlist.