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Licensing Deal on Horizon for Twitch and Music Publishers

Lea Dince

The US National Music Publishers Association is close to finalizing a licensing deal with Amazon’s live-streaming platform, Twitch. According to multiple sources who spoke to Billboard, it is reported that the two sides are “close to signing a music licensing agreement… The two parties have come to an agreement in principle, although nothing binding has been signed.”

For a long time now, Twitch has been under fire for their lack of sorting music licenses given how often and frequent music is featured on their platform. Record labels and music publishers have been a lot more diligent about taking any unlicensed music down, which in turn has upset creators that stream on the platform. In a blog post aimed at its creators late last year, Twitch said that it was attempting to sort out some music license issues to reduce the number of takedown notices it was receiving.

But the kinds of licensing deals the labels and publishers had agreed on with other digital platforms wouldn’t work for a service like Twitch, where many creators don’t use music in their streams. That being said, David Israelite stated last year that “Twitch – and its parent company – cannot seriously argue that their profit margins do not leave room to fairly compensate creators and songwriters for the use of their music,” It is unclear how many NMPA members would be a part of the deal and how global this deal would be.

Many other platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok have figured out ways to compensate songwriters for the use of their music on their platforms, and Israelite believes that Twitch has gone to incredible lengths to avoid properly licensing music for its streamers.

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