Streams To The Rythym: Twitch Licenses 500 Songs

The glory days are over: no more hosting a private disco on your video stream. No sir, you may not show the world what it’s like to play Animal Crossing with a Rammstein soundtrack. What you can now do, however, is soundtrack your Twitch blathering with one or some of 500 songs they’ve acquired usage rights for. None of them are songs you’ll ever hear the postman whistling, naturally, but a start is a start.

I don’t doubt that, eventually, either YouTube or Twitch will broker a deal with Big Music which enables access to a Spotify-sized catalogue (I guess YouTube has the edge there, given Google already has its own Spotify rival in Play Music), but that’s an extremely big ship to turn and the mind boggles at how the revenue-sharing would work.

In the meantime, Twitch has a few record labels on side, including Skrillex’s OWSLA, Dim Mak, Monstercat and Spinnin Records. Bangin’… choons? Come on, I don’t know about these things, I’m a dad now.

All 500 songs are free to use for any Twitch user, reports Doubtless more will turn up in time, but while the current crop aren’t exactly party favourites, I guess it beats silence or risking a half hour muting for getting caught using unlicensed stuff.


  1. Core says:

    I hope they got the rights to play Darude Sandstorm or there will be a riot.

    • honuk says:

      I just immediately assumed that was the first song on the list

  2. Lacessit says:

    Your postman whistles Rammstein?


    Real gamers use the Lemmings soundtrack.

  4. P.Funk says:

    So… what happens if I stream a GTA game with the radio playing?

    • Pantalaimon says:

      When the video gets archived on your channel, portions of the audio will be liberally muted. Unless of course the radio is playing things on the sanctioned list (but probably also those parts too, such is the technology).

      The system they use for detection is still hap-hazard to the point where people who’ve created and approved their music to be available for streaming get flagged for it, and the system likes to incorrectly detect background ambient sounds in games as music and mute videos because of that.

      • P.Funk says:

        How bad is it? Like if I strum a chord progression vaguely similar to a Springsteen song will it shit can my audio?

  5. Pantalaimon says:

    As much as I think this is the correct first step for Twitch to take, there should really just be a wider discussion about why copyright holders are always the ones lagging behind the rest of society, when it comes to how their media is consumed. Ten years from now, sure, every song on the planet is in some database and its all licensed and you can play it on your stream, and maybe they take a % of ad revenue if advertising is still a thing, and you’ve partnered your stream. Streaming is a force of nature and this will happen sooner or later with absolute certainty.

    So why do we always have to go through an incredibly wearisome, tetchy teething process? Why can’t these huge companies hire people who understand that if they let consumers listen to their stuff how they want, the consumers will respond favourably, and if they don’t, the consumers will become unresponsive until they do?

    I mean, you know, you might think that publishers would quite like the idea of their artists being exposed to potential audiences of 10,000s of viewers, 24/7, without any effort on their part. Streams are currently a massive part of exposing people to music they would never otherwise listen to. This is the new frontier, hurry up and get with the times! etc