Last week Twitch announced their very own copyright free music service, specifically tailored for streamers. Here is what you need to know about their new service
Why Do We Need Copyright Free Music?
Twitch requires all streamers that use their platform to play copyright free music. This rule is not new, however over 90% of all Twitch streamers fail to comply with this rule. The reason behind copyright free music is that streamers often earn money through their live streams, however the artists are not paid by Twitch and neither by the streamer. If you want to play copyrighted music you technically have to pay some of your revenue to the artist for using their songs.
So why has this only become an issue now in 2020? Over the course of the last year and heavily influenced by the 2020 pandemic, Twitch’s growth has doubled. With everyone being quarantined inside people have spent more time watching streamers and also streamed themselves in hope to make a little side income. This growth has led to DMCA’s or copyright strikes on larger Twitch channels. The biggest Twitch streams can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year through the platform Twitch and so far have not paid the artists at all. All big streamers have acknowledged this issue and are only streaming copyright free music because the potential financial loss outweighs the comfort of streaming your favorite song.
This leads us exactly to the next point, of why 90% are still playing copyrighted music. Only very few streamers are able to make a full time income off of Twitch, and most streamers, over 90%, are making close to no income at all. For large labels it does not pay off to go after those 90% of streamers because there is no financial gain for the label. The comfort of playing your favorite song still outweighs the financial risk for most streamers.
Where Do You Get Copyright Free Music?
There are many free services out there that offer copyright free music which you can play on stream. Twitch has now launched their own service Twitch Soundtracks. Twitch Soundtracks is still in Beta but will most likely roll out by the end of the year or early next year.
But what differentiates Twitch Soundtracks from other services like Pretzel Rock, Stream Beats or MonsterCat? Simply nothing. At the moment we can only speculate the quality of Twitch Soundtracks and how much time Twitch has put into this project, but in essence their service is no different than any others, besides the fact that it might be easier to implement the music into your stream if you are streaming on Twitch.
So should you switch over to Twitch Soundtracks? All services are free right? So give it a try and see if you like it. I, GermanLuk, still believe that Stream Beats by Harris Heller is by far the best copyright free music. The quality of the songs beats any other service in the industry.
Are Other Services Now At Risk?
No. Any other service does not have to worry, yet. The market for copyright free music is extremely untapped at the moment. Copyright free music has this bad taste of being low quality annoying music. Over 90% of all streamers are still not playing copyright free music so you can imagine the potential that is still left in the market.
Twitch launching their own service however will shine a lot of light onto this market and will drive competition. How do you compete and separate yourself from other services if everything is free for the user? Simply by quality. If Twitch wants to compete with other services and other services want to expand their market share, quality will be the deciding factor.
Twitch Soundtracks was the best thing that could have happened to this industry. Twitch opens up the market and in essences brings free marketing and publicity to all other services. Naturally a lot of streamers, especially Twitch streamers will migrate and try Twitch Soundtracks at first. However if Twitch does not provide the quality or add new songs, all these streamers will soon move on and experiment with other services. Twitch is changing the culture and making it more acceptable to play copyright free music.
I am very curious where this journey and the market of copyright free music will go in the next six months. Let me know what you think in the comment section below or under my YouTube video.