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US National Music Publishers’ Association announces agreement with Twitch

By | Published on Wednesday 22 September 2021


As expected, the US National Music Publishers’ Association has announced a new agreement with Twitch. Though it’s mainly an agreement to agree more agreements. But you know, it’s a step in the right direction.

Amazon-owned livestreaming service Twitch has come under increased pressure from both record labels and music publishers to sort out its music licences, given all the music that appears in streams on the platform. The company does have some deals with some smaller labels and distributors, and some collecting societies on the songs side, but a lot of music on the platform is currently unlicensed.

Last year, as the music industry started more prolifically filing takedown notices against Twitch – annoying its community of gamers and other creators – the Amazon company said it was working hard to sort out music licences. But that was difficult, it added, especially for a platform where plenty of streams don’t actually include any music.

However, NMPA boss David Israelite hit out at those claims, arguing that lots of other user-upload and social media platforms had got themselves licences from across the music industry, despite they too having plenty of content with no music included.

But, it seems, the NMPA and Twitch are now friends. And, as a result of the new agreement between the two organisations, there will be opportunities to “increase visibility and revenue for songwriters – from virtual shows to studio sessions, the partnerships stemming from this agreement will connect the Twitch community in many ways to the music they enjoy”.

“Twitch will provide new opportunities to music publishers who will be offered an opt-in deal allowing for future collaborations to bring new facets to both the gaming experience and songwriter exposure”, an official statement says. “These collaborations will create an even more dynamic and expansive environment for people to discover, watch, and interact with songwriters”.

Or, if a publisher prefers, they could choose to opt in to opt out. Which is, to say, alert Twitch to the use of their music on the platform, presumably with the option to block content, among other things. “Twitch has created a new process that participating music rights holders can opt into to report certain uses of their music, to address when creators inadvertently or incidentally use music in their streams”, the statement adds.

Welcoming the agreement, Israelite says: “Both NMPA and Twitch are creator-focused and our respective communities will greatly benefit from this agreement, which respects the rights of songwriters and paves the way for future relationships between our publisher members, songwriters and the service. Through our discussions, Twitch has shown a commitment to valuing musicians and to creating new ways to connect them with fans in this burgeoning and exciting space”.

Meanwhile, Twitch Head Of Music Tracy Chan adds: “We are pleased to reach this agreement with the NMPA and excited about our shared commitment to empowering songwriters and other creators to share their work and passions while connecting with audiences. That’s what Twitch is all about, and we know that great music starts with a great song. We look forward to innovative collaborations that further unlock the incredible potential of our service and our community for music publishers and their songwriter partners”.