Twitch DJs will now have to pay music labels to play songs in livestreams

    Twitch has come up with a solution for the ongoing copyright issues that DJs encounter on the platform. The company announced Thursday a new program that enables DJs to stream millions of tracks in a new DJ Category, giving them more clarity on which songs are safe to use in their streams. 

    The only catch is DJs have to cough up a portion of their earnings.

    This move is part of a larger initiative to avoid DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notices. These notices have been a consistent problem for the many DJ streamers on Twitch who incorporate prerecorded music from artists into their own mixes. According to the company, the number of DJs streaming on the platform more than quadrupled, with 15,000 of them monetizing off streams. In May 2020, creators began receiving thousands of weekly music-related DMCA notifications from record labels.

    Participating DJs in the program must contribute a percentage of their earnings from streams to cover some of the music rights costs. Twitch partnered with all major labels to bring a majority of popular music to the offering, including Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music, as well as several independent labels represented by music licensing partner Merlin. 

    Twitch didn’t disclose the exact fee that DJs have to pay. However, in an official blog post, Twitch CEO Dan Clancy clarified that the cost is determined by how a channel monetizes. So, fortunately, DJs who aren’t monetizing on the platform don’t need to pay anything.

    On the bright side, the company said it’s helping most DJs pay 50% of the royalties. Additionally, a one-year subsidy is being offered to existing Twitch DJs, providing financial support and a transition period to adapt to the new program.

    “We’re proud to be the first major service to provide a safe, permanent home for DJs to livestream, and we’re excited to now be able to promote and support these creators as they build communities on our service and beyond,” Clancy said. 

    The program is launching later this summer. 

    Clancy previously revealed details about the program in an interview with channel TweakMusicTips two months ago. 

    He said, “We are going to have to share money with the labels, it doesn’t come for free. I’ve already told a number of DJs this, and they realize, of course, they’d rather not have to share some money, but [Twitch is] going to split whatever the cost is.”

    “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,” Clancy wrote in today’s post.

    The company is hosting a livestream later today at 2:30 pm ET with Clancy and DJ Jazzy Jeff to celebrate the new DJ category.

    Read the full article here

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