DJs on Twitch can now split revenue with record labels

Twitch will be splitting the cost with DJs 50/50, but will shoulder a slightly larger chunk of the costs to start with.

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The Twitch app

Credit: Ian Dagnall

Livestreaming platform Twitch has announced a new programme for DJs that will enable them to use copyrighted music in their streams in exchange for a fee.

The new development has been expected for a while, with CEO Dan Clancy saying in April that DJs using Twitch would soon have to share their revenue with labels, but the platform would be helping to split the cost.

To make this happen, Twitch has signed deals with major labels including Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music as well as “hundreds” of independent labels.

Launching this summer, streamers will pay a percentage of their earnings from a stream to rights holders, but the amount will vary slightly depending on which monetisation methods streamers use. Twitch will split the cost with them 50/50 but to start with, the platform will cover “more of the cost”.

Some DJs can access a one-year subsidy paid for by the platform that covers the difference between their earnings and money paid to labels and artists. DJs who don’t monetise on Twitch won’t need to pay fees.

“DJs often build upon and leverage pre-recorded music from other artists as a critical part of their creative expression,” the company wrote in a blog post. “However, when streaming pre-recorded music over the internet, there are a variety of copyright issues that need to be considered that vary across regions.”

Until now, DJs have been left on their own when it comes to handling any copyright problems that have cropped up while they’ve been steaming on Twitch. Indeed, some Twitch DJs have said they’ve faced an influx of DMCA takedowns. While they’ve been negotiating with labels, the company says it’s been “mitigating” the risks of takedowns.

“It’s crucial that DJs understand the status quo on Twitch was not sustainable, and any viable future for the community required we find a solution,” Twitch said in the blog post.

The changes won’t apply to other types of content like video on demand and highlights, which are covered by a different set of rights than livestreamed content.

For more information, head over to Twitch.

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