Twitch has rolled out a new tool to allow streamers to add background music on their streams without worrying about copyright infringement.
The streaming company has been developing Soundtrack for over a year. This tool would make it easier to find rights-cleared music and address ongoing issues that creators have while streaming on mute. It will be officially launched "over the next few weeks."
As Soundtrack is currently on beta testing, streamers may access over a million licensed music for their streams. Twitch's music library includes tracks from over 30 independent labels such as Anjunabeats, Alpha Pup, DistroKid, EMPIRE, Chillhop, Future Classic, Nuclear Blast, SoundCloud, United Masters, and Monstercat.
However, Twitch has not yet released a complete list of music and artists whom streamers can use for their streams, including artists like Young Dolph, Flume, and XXXtentacion.
Twitch's decision to launch Soundtrack is perfect timing as music has become a larger part of the Twitch experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
UnitedMasters founder and CEO Steve Stoute praised Twitch's decision to launch Soundtrack. "This launch from Twitch is a gamechanger for independent artists everywhere," Stoute said.
Although the company has already introduced features to address music rights issues with its Twitch Music Library launched in 2015, the feature was abruptly shut down in 2019 without providing any explanation from the company.
In June, Twitch received takedown requests from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to use old music in old live broadcasts. This forced Twitch to release its content policy and to ban all music for live streams.
I’ve been issued 2 copyright strikes on my channel (both from clips over a year old) in the past week and told that if they find one more violation in my clips, my twitch account will be permabanned. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/y8pft3spdq — leslie (@fuslie) June 7, 2020
Now, Soundtrack will have separate music saved in its audio channel, so creators can play tracks without worrying about receiving notices or being muted again. They can choose music from various playlists and stations curated by genre or theme such as Rap, Lofi Hip Hop/Beats, or Just Chilling.
Soundtrack looks like a normal streaming service and has a straightforward interface. Streamers can regularly update the curated Stations or Playlists while the company also plans to expand them regularly.
SoundCloud's Vice President and Head of RepostJeff Ponchick is excited about their partnership with Twitch. "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," Ponchick noted.
SoundCloud has already been helping its musicians earn money throughout the COVID-19 pandemic from live streams while the Twitch has been paving the way for aspiring artists to get discovered.
Similarly, DistroKid helps artists have their music be accessed on streaming platforms. "Twitch is quickly becoming a dominant force in the music industry, and DistroKid's million+ artists can all benefit from Soundtrack." said DistroKid Founder and CEO of Philip Kaplan.
Facebook Gaming getting ahead of Twitch
In June, Facebook Gaming announced that it has acquired rights with major music labels like Warner, BMG, Sony, Universal, and other companies, so streamers can play licensed music without getting copyright infringements and DMCA warnings.
Facebook Gaming is a pretty new feature of the social media network as it was launched in April. Instead of discouraging creators from using background music on their live streams, Facebook worked out on getting agreements with the big music labels so that streamers can enjoy a wide range of music.
What is Soundtrack by Twitch?
Soundtrack is a new tool developed for Twitch creators to use licensed music within their live streams while paving the way for musicians to be discovered across the Twitch community.
The feature is currently awaiting full launch, but creators can join the waitlist, so they will be notified when Soundtrack (beta) is already available for download.
The beta version is only compatible with OBS, but Twitch will work on future releases to make Soundtrack compatible with Streamlabs OBS and Twitch Studio.
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Written by CJ Robles