After months of escalating disputes between Twitch and the music industry, the streaming platform today announced that it has reached an agreement with the National Music Publishers Association to “establish a fruitful partnership between services and music publishers “. The details are not yet clear, but Twitch stated that the new deal “paves the way for the economics of the new game model to increase the popularity and revenue of songwriters.”
“Twitch will provide new opportunities for music publishers, and they will get an opt-in agreement that allows future collaborations to bring new aspects to the gaming experience and the exposure of songwriters,” it said. “These collaborations will create a more dynamic and expansive environment for people to discover, watch and interact with songwriters.”
In the past few years, the relationship between Twitch and the music business has become increasingly tense due to the existence of copyrighted music in live broadcasts and VOD. Industry representatives stated in a 2020 letter that Twitch “continues to turn a blind eye to the same users who violate the law, and at the same time collects a large amount of proceeds from unauthorized use of recorded music.”
Recently, NMPA President and CEO David Israelite accused Twitch of lax licensing practices and warned: “NMPA is stepping up its copyright removal activities on Twitch and will continue to delete the trade organization’s claims that Amazon refuses Music to pay for.”
However, the Israelis adopted a more conciliatory tone in today’s announcement. “NMPA and Twitch are creator-centric, and our respective communities will benefit greatly from this agreement, which respects the rights of songwriters and provides for the future relationship between our publisher members, songwriters, and services Paved the way,” he said. “Through our discussions, Twitch has shown its commitment to value musicians and create new ways to connect them with fans in this emerging and exciting space.”
Tracy Chan, Twitch’s music director, is also excited about “allowing songwriters and other creators to share their work and passion while connecting with the audience”.
“This is what Twitch is all about. We know that great music starts with a great song,” Chen said. “We look forward to innovative cooperation to further release the great potential of our services and communities for music publishers and their songwriting partners.”
This sounds mainly about continuing to conduct more transactions rather than fully resolving their disputes, but it is not entirely without substance. As part of the agreement, Twitch also created a new opt-in reporting process for rights holders “to solve the problem of creators using their music accidentally or accidentally in their stream.” The process is designed to be “more flexible and forgiving” than the current system, and will start with a warning, rather than immediate penalties for violations.
However, Twitch also emphasized that the new process will not change the way music is legally used on Twitch. “[Using copyrighted music] It violates the rights of music creators and runs counter to Twitch’s mission of supporting all creators,” Twitch said. An agreement was reached with music copyright holders to adopt a balanced approach to support creators on Twitch.”
More information about the new reporting system will be shared “in the coming weeks.”