Live-streaming service Twitch has pretty much the perfect business model. Twitch provides the tools to let broadcasters stream their gameplay, and streamers provide the content that brings millions of viewers to Twitch. Everybody wins. Well, everybody except music publishers who aren’t happy with their copyrighted music being used by streamers without compensation. While sites like YouTube have more-or-less found a way to make peace with the music industry, Twitch has been having a hard time finding a solution that will keep labels happy without severely curtailing the activity of streamers.
Now Twitch might have found a way to make everyone happy. The platform has introduced the Twitch Music Library, an archive that collects all the tracks that have been approved by the labels for use in live streams and archived videos. Twitch is hoping that it can convince streamers to draw their background music from this growing database of songs rather than playing potentially copyrighted tunes in the background.
Presently the library contains around 500 tracks, mostly from independent music labels whose artists will benefit from the exposure they’ll receive on Twitch’s live streams. Beyond providing creators with a resources for songs that won’t get Twitch sued, the library is also part of Twitch’s gradual expansion into music. The site, which was born as a “life streaming” platform and gradually grew into its role as a gaming juggernaut, would like to expand its territory into the lucrative world of streaming music. The move was foreshadowed last year when Twitch suddenly cracked down on copyrighted music, a move that was interpreted by many as a hint that the company would soon be acquired by YouTube. Ultimately Twitch went to Amazon, but Twitch’s musical ambitions remain in play.
Twitch has already dabbled in live streaming concerts and live performances and has been working to build partnerships with independent artists and record labels. For artists who aren’t in a position to tour, Twitch’s millions-strong streaming audiences could provide an attractive alternative. Still, Twitch’s primary hustle is still gaming, which is why the Music Library is being rolled out first and foremost as a resource for live streamers with its potential as a source of streaming music for audiences in the background.