KEY POINTS

  • To address the issue of music from streams being taken down or muted, Twitch has introduced Soundtrack
  • Soundtrack gives streamers curated, rights-cleared music to play while they are broadcasting
  • Music of independent artists would be heard by a potentially large Twitch audience via Soundtrack

To address an issue long faced by streamers on Twitch, the company is releasing a new product called Soundtrack.

Since streaming has become more popular in the recent years, a problem that has popped up is when copyrighted music is played while a streamer is broadcasting. There are no issues when it is being played live. The issue comes in when viewers make clips from that broadcast.

The Verge said that music that is cleared for live use is not necessarily cleared for use in recordings as well. Sites like Twitch have become more stringent to hit streamers with a copyright strike and are often muted when the stream is replayed online.

In the case of Twitch, three strikes result in a permanent ban from the platform. It’s a somewhat murky and arbitrary policy though, as evidenced by what happened in June when clips that were several years old were hit with copyright strikes from music labels in videos they were not involved in producing.

Soundtrack aims to correct that because it is a separate application that interfaces with the streaming software used. By separating the music stream into its own channel and broadcasting it simultaneously yet separately, Soundtrack allows Twitch to automatically strip the music from the VOD of the live stream.

“Soundtrack gives you a curated collection of rights-cleared music and integrates with your streaming software to separate your audio sources, allowing you to keep your channel safe while you create compelling content and grow as a creator,” Twitch wrote in a blog post.

The songs that are on Soundtrack are cleared for worldwide listening during live streams and they come from independent artists. The Twitch music curation staff will give the streamers the power to select what kind of music to add to their streams relatively easily.

With Soundtrack, popular Twitch streamers like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek (who both just recently returned to Twitch) will have the option to add music while streaming without fear that the music will either go mute or be taken down due to copyright issue.

Twitch is starting with a small group of labels and distribution platforms — including indie favorites like Dim Mak, along with bigger players like SoundCloud and DistroKid.

The new product would also allow the artists to have their music be heard by a considerably large Twitch audience. Although music in streams is often used merely as a soundbed or in the background, this is still significant news for both the artists and the steaming platform altogether.