DJs can stream legally on Twitch under new ‘pay-to-play’ label deals

Twitch’s long-standing music licensing dispute over DJs spinning on the platform has been resolved thanks to new deals between the live streamer and UMG, Sony, WMG, and Merlin.

“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.”

DJs must now pay rights holders a percentage of their earnings from each stream to cover the costs. DJs not monetizing on Twitch won’t be required to pay fees.

Twitch hasn’t publicly shared the exact costs, but says they will share it equally with each DJ.

All DJs who opt in will get financial help from Twitch for the first year through a subsidy, spokesperson Ashton Williams told TechCrunch. When the program launches in the coming weeks, 100% of the cost will be covered by Twitch. That percentage will decrease monthly until creators pay their full share by the end of the year.

“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,” said Twitch.

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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