Twitch DJ Program Officially Launches with UMG, WMG, Sony, Merlin All On Board, Offering ‘Safe, Long-Term Home for DJs to Livestream’

Twitch DJ program
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Twitch DJ program
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Photo Credit: Grandmaster Flash for Twitch

Twitch launches a dedicated program ‘to provide a safe, long-term home for DJs to livestream,’ with UMG, WMG, Sony Music, and Merlin all signing on.

Twitch announces a dedicated program to enable DJs to stream the “vast majority” of popular music in a new DJ category on the livestreaming platform. In a first-of-its-kind partnership with hundreds of companies, the major labels — Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music — and many independent labels and rights holders represented by Merlin, Twitch becomes the first major platform to provide “a safe, long-term home for DJs to livestream.”

To cover the cost of the rights, streamers will pay a percentage of their earnings from a stream back to rights holders. That percentage hasn’t yet been shared publicly, and will vary based on the monetization methods used. Streamers will share the cost of the rights with Twitch in a fifty-fifty split — although Twitch says it will cover more of the cost initially.

As the program first rolls out, some “existing Twitch DJs” will have access to a one-year subsidy paid for by Twitch that covers the difference in revenue that will be paid out to music companies and musicians. The subsidy amount will gradually reduce over time as the service grows. Meanwhile, DJs who aren’t monetizing won’t be required to pay fees.

“DJs often build upon and leverage pre-recorded music from other artists as a critical part of their creative expression,” Twitch’s blog post reads. “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.”

Prior to the launch of an official DJ program, DJs streaming on Twitch were responsible for handling any potential copyright issues and DMCA takedowns on their own. “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,” the company’s blog post continues.

Twitch’s DJ program officially launches later this summer, alongside a new DJ category for streamers to use.