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Twitch launches update to allow DJs to pay for copyrighted music use on streams

Twitch CEO Dan Clancy had teased plans to introduce a paid-for revenue sharing programme after declaring that DJs "must declare earnings" on the platform

  • 13 June 2024
Twitch launches update to allow DJs to pay for copyrighted music use on streams

A new feature on Twitch will allow DJs to use copyrighted music in streams in exchange for paying a fee to labels and rights-holders, the platform has confirmed.

The “Twitch DJ Program” has seen the platform reach agreements with the likes of Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music, Warner Music Group, and more — meaning streamers can now pay a percentage of their earnings to labels and rights-holders when using copyrighted music.

Twitch has said that it will split the cost of paying labels 50:50, though the platform will reportedly shoulder "a slightly higher percentage" than this to begin with. The updates will only affect monetising streamers, with Twitch “covering the costs for DJs who aren’t yet monetising.”

The development has been expected after CEO Dan Clancy confirmed in April that a new streaming “structure” would be put in place.

Read this next: DJs must declare earnings from streaming website Twitch, CEO confirms

The announcement is in response to an increasing number of copyright issues and takedowns on the platform in recent years, particularly after Twitch’s dramatic increase in DJ streams during the COVID-19 Pandemic, a number which has quadrupled since 2020 and propelled the platform to new heights.

Twitch announced the update via a blog post, writing: “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. We’ve worked with music partners over the past few years to develop this program.”

"This program is only applicable to those who live-stream as DJs and does not apply to other uses of music,” Clancy added.

He continued, ”DJs will need to opt-in to a new agreement that will apply to all streaming on their channel. For those who only stream DJ content part-time, we recommend creating a second standalone channel dedicated to DJ live-streaming."

Read this next: UMG and TikTok sign new licensing agreement following royalty dispute

To read the full announcement, click here

Jamaal Johnson is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow him on Instagram

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