I want to be upfront with this piece. This entire thing is simply a reaction to observing Twitter today. A large portion of my Twitter feed is updates from other Twitch streamers. Today, my feed was a heavy (over)reaction to a response from Twitch’s Twitter account.
On November 11th Twitter user @OfficialDabier asked Twitch Support:
So what about music in game? The biggest game is about to drop next month and we have to mute all music entirely and ruin the experience for the in game!@OfficialDabier
Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport) replied:
Hey there, thanks for reaching out. We recommend reading through any game’s EULA, and utilizing any option to turn music off if the game includes that option, or mute the game audio.@TwitchSupport
That was the point where people seemed to have lost their minds. It seems the idea that a content creator should be responsible for making sure that they have the rights to the content they are broadcasting is insane! The response has ranged from (and I’m paraphrasing) “twitch should buy licenses for everyone to stream music” to “Twitch wants to kill off our streams by having us do audio-less streams”. My personal favorite response was along the lines of “Amazon streams music with Amazon Music. They could use that but they’re just too lazy”.
I would like to take the time to remind everyone that Twitch isn’t the only person who is capable of licensing rights to use music. Streamers are fully capable of contacting Columbia Records and licensing the use of the song Old Town Road on their stream. Spotify’s licensing does not give you the right to broadcast music for public consumption. This is just like buying a DVD does not give you the right to set up a projector in the neighborhood park and play the movie for your community.
In short, and to tie this up in a nice and pretty bow, This is one of the most reasonable things I’ve heard from Twitch since I’ve been a part of the platform. If you have an issue here, let it be with the game studios that did not acquire the proper licenses for the music in their games to be streamed. Let these studios know you are unhappy with THEM being lazy and show them with your wallet that you are not going to stand for it. This has nothing to do with Twitch. There are plenty of other things to beat them up over, go pick one of those things.