- Twitch and Warner Music Group (WMG) are teaming on a first-of-its-kind partnership, according to a press release. The deal will see the companies launch channels for select label artists and create a standalone space for music-focused programming.
- Warner Records acts Saweetie and Bella Poarch and Atlantic Records' artist Sueco will receive artist channels on the platform. The WMG space will feature professionally produced programming curated by digital media company IMGN. Plus, WMG music rights holders can opt-in to use Twitch's new process to report inadvertent or incidental use of their music in other creators' streams.
- The partnership between Twitch and WMG gives the record label a boost on the increasingly important streaming platform, while allowing its roster of artists to tap into additional income opportunities and access to Twitch's fan engagement tools.
The first-of-its-kind partnership between Twitch and WMG sees the Amazon-owned platform elevate its relationship with one of the Big Three major record labels. Twitch has increasingly been a key platform for music- and gaming-related content, especially as the pandemic continues to curtail in-person events, and it has continued to make itself a welcoming platform for creators and brands.
"It's clear that Twitch is an indispensable space for all types of creators to connect with their fan communities. Our partnership creates an on-ramp for artists to come onto the service with strong support from Twitch, opening up an entirely new source of incremental revenue," Oana Ruxandra, WMG's chief digital officer and executive vice president of business development, said in a press release.
By launching musician-focused channels on the platform, Twitch and WMG can tap into interest around some of the label's biggest stars, taking advantage of additional income opportunities that could come in the form of brand sponsorships and partnerships. Brands including Lexus, the NFL, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Ally Financial have tied up with the streaming platform.
Two of the artists who will receive Twitch channels, Bella Poarch and Saweetie, have burnished their influencer statuses — the former as a star on TikTok and the latter as the latest musician to team with McDonald's for one of its Famous Orders.
The music-focused space on Twitch could draw the attention of consumers who have flocked to Twitch and other digital content platforms during the pandemic. Upcoming programming from IMGN, which WMG acquired last year, includes music news and performance show "The Drop," Twitch rapper competition show "Freestyle Throwdown" and "The One," a show featuring performances and an audience Q&A.
The deal also brings WMG in line with Twitch's content reporting system that allows music rights holders to flag when creators use the label's music in their streams. Last week, Twitch reached a similar pact — but not a licensing deal — with the National Music Publishers' Association. Twitch says the new system is more forgiving towards creators who use unauthorized music, Engadget reported, but a further crackdown on music in streams could have a chilling effect on creators' use of the platform.