Twitch’s New DJ Streaming Program: What You Need to Know

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Key Takeaways

  • Twitch introduced a new DJ Category allowing DJs to stream popular music through partnerships with major and independent labels.
  • The program simplifies rights clearance for DJs, enabling them to engage with audiences while compensating musicians through revenue sharing.
  • Twitch will cover initial costs for DJs, transitioning to a 50/50 revenue split, with a one-year subsidy to help DJs adapt to the new system.

Twitch has introduced a new program allowing DJs to stream a wide range of popular music under a dedicated DJ Category.

This initiative is enabled through partnerships with major labels such as Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music, as well as numerous independent labels and rights holders represented by Merlin.

What’s the Reason Behind Twitch’s New DJ Streaming Program

Twitch aims to provide a platform for DJs to livestream while supporting these creators in building their communities.

DJs have traditionally faced challenges in using pre-recorded music from other artists, requiring rights clearance for livestreaming performances. The new DJ Program aims to simplify this process, allowing DJs to engage with their audiences while compensating musicians.

Since early 2020, the number of DJs on Twitch has more than quadrupled, with many establishing and monetizing music fan communities. The platform sees itself as a suitable venue for DJs to expand their reach.

Twitch has emphasized its support for all types of creators and the importance of revenue sharing with musicians. To facilitate this, Twitch will allocate a portion of earnings from DJ channels to pay musicians via their representing music companies.

Initially, Twitch will cover a larger share of these costs, eventually moving to a 50/50 split with streamers. Non-monetizing DJs will have their costs covered entirely by Twitch.

CEO Dan Clancy noted that the previous system for streaming DJ content was unsustainable. Without proper rights clearance, DJs risked DMCA notifications and copyright penalties. Twitch has developed this program with music partners to address these issues.

Twitch Sets Transition Period for DJ Initiative

Twitch is announcing this initiative before its summer launch to give DJs time to prepare. DJs can opt-in without immediate revenue impact, and the DJ Category launch will follow a few weeks later. DJs are encouraged to review the program details to understand the changes.

To help DJs transition, Twitch will provide a one-year subsidy to cover the revenue difference paid to music companies and musicians. This subsidy will decrease over time as the service grows.

The program is specifically for DJs who livestream and does not apply to other music uses. DJs must opt into a new agreement covering all streaming on their channel. Part-time DJ streamers are advised to create a separate channel dedicated to DJ livestreaming.