Twitch Premieres 'Free-To-Use' Music Platform For Live Content
Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers, has brought the future to dance music’s doorstep with the announcement of music.twitch.tv, a free-to-use library of songs that can be utilized in live content and archived video recordings. In a time where content creators risk copyright infringement by uploading videos to YouTube, or remixes on Soundcloud, music.twitch.tv is meant to alleviate that risk and give content creators direct access to a library of prevoiusly cleared music. In additon, Twitch is experimenting with live streaming in their Beta Music Category, which will showcase everything from smaller projects, such as live studio sessions or a chats with fans, to streaming entire live events and music festivals through the service.
Founded in 2011 as a spin-off of the general interest streaming platform Justin.tv, Twitch's primary focus is on the the gaming world, with content such as full playthroughs of video games, tutorial by users, and broadcasts of e-sports competitions. Games like Starcraft, DotA 2, World of Warcraft, and Minecraft all harbor huge followings and thus are some of the most streamed channels on Twitch. Often times, this content is streamed live with the players conversing alongside the video content. In addition, the content is made available for on-demand viewing.
In February of 2014, an interesting study brought Twitch out of the shadows and into the spotlight. A social experiment conducted by an anonymous Australian programmer, “Twitch Plays Pokemon,” was a streamed and crowdsourced attempt at beating Nintendo’s Pokemon Red through parsing attempts submitted by users in the stream's chat room. With thousands of users contributing to the gameplay, TPP quickly garnered a worldwide following. In just under a month, the over 12 million participants beat Pokemon Red and continued on to beat another 9 different editions of Pokemon.
2014 saw the initial blending of music and gaming for Twitch, as many DJs and producers took to the platform to host chats with the public or give fans a glimpse at how they work. In May, Diplo’s Mad Decent label launched Maddecentgaming on Twitch, a channel for their artists to game on. Later that summer, Steve Aoki kicked off his own channel by performing a live concert on Twitch, which garnered more than 250,000 unique visitors and led to more than half the pre-orders of his latest album Neon Future I. In August, before he kicked off his massive North American album tour for his debut album Worlds, Porter Robinson launched his Twitch channel and held a livestreamed event that gave fans an in-depth look at his inspirations for the chart-topping album. November saw Krewella premiere their latest song “Say Goodbye” on Twitch and in December, the Monstercat record label launched their 24-hour Twitch music channel, the first of its kind. To close out the year, Skrillex and his OWSLA label live streamed their massive holiday party on Twitch.
With its growing following, alongside the release of these two revolutionary music services, Twitch is geared for an explosive 2015. The Twitch Music Library has launched with over cleared 500 songs from Mad Decent, Dim Mak, Spinnin’ Records, OWSLA and Monstercat. In refernce to the new service, Chief Strategy Officer Colin Carrier states, “Our community has been vocal about the importance of music for their broadcasts and their love of music in general. By working with both established and upcoming record labels, we are now able to offer music for them to use that is cleared for live broadcasts and archiving.” To view the full list of labels and tracks that have been cleared for use by Twitch, visit the Twitch Music Library.
Twitch’s second music initiative, the Music Category, has the potential to create waves in the dance music industry. The service allows artists to broadcast their original music to the network. With the service, larger labels and more established artists have the ability to host listening shows, live mixes, or in-studio sessions - all of which give fans a rare chance to see a different side of their favorite musicians.
On a larger scale, Twitch has partnered with the popular music store Beatport , a subsidiary of the production giant SFX Entertainment, which produces TomorrowLand and TomorrowWorld. The Beatport channel on Twitch provides exclusive content that features all-access interviews with both headlining and up-and-coming DJs and live broadcasts of all SFX festivals around the world. TomorrowLand and TomorrowWorld are the first massive festivals to leave YouTube to join Twitch as their primary streaming platform.
Ultimately, with these new announcements, Twitch is moving away from just the gaming arena and joining the music industry. Artists such as deadmau5 and Porter Robinson have openly acknowledged the influence video games have had on their music, and these new services by Twitch are both a means for fans with like interests to connect with these artists in a way that has never been done before.