As of January 15, 2015, Twitch announced a HUGE update involving stream-friendly music and music in general. These two monumusical updates includes an official Twitch Music Library and a Music Category (beta)! What a way to kick off the New Year! After a couple of hours, let’s run through some impressions, as well as what this means and could mean for the future of Twitch.
First off, Twitch has no qualms reminding people of the debacle that took place last year when VODS (videos on demand) were having portions silenced due to copyrighted music played during the stream. With today’s update, Twitch implemented the Twitch Music Library, quoted as “…to offer safe passage through the less-than-clear legal landscape when it comes to audio rights.“
Currently, Twitch states that there are over 500 songs featured in the library, many of which come from established labels such as Mad Decent, Monstercat, and Spinnin’ Records. It is safe to say that more are on the way, and with many more tunes to arrive, also comes a Music Category Beta channel added amongst tournaments, talk shows, and gaming streams.
The Music Category is an interesting one, reminding me of the JustinTV days, back before Twitch spawned and where one could find live, streamed musical performances, jams, and concerts to watch. If anything, the addition of the musical category excites me the most!
As of now, Twitch’s aim for the music category is, “…for musicians to use for creating, performing, and presenting original music.” Twitch has stated on their official blog that the music category is an experiment, and hopefully, one that would be given the greenlight as a permanent feature.
Now, when checking out the Twitch Music Library, the layout, though new, is simple and easy to follow. A Featured Playlist at the top with artists and labels accompanied by label art, and the Twitch Music Library selection itself below. Intuitive sorting by Artist, Track, Label, the amount of entries a user wants listed, and a search bar. Truly following the rule of KISS – let’s hope Twitch sticks to it and only minor tweaks and adjustments are added later on.
For the Music Category, it is as simple as locating streamers for a game you would like to view. Click on “Browse,” find the “Music” icon, and click the “Music” icon. Personally, I feel this latest feature is a fantastic way of broadening Twitch’s horizons, as well as a hailing to its roots of JustinTV.
This can and will provide another avenue for indie artists to obtain exposure. Besides entertainment, these streams can also be informative, such as showcasing new music editing and recording software, equipment, and steps to creating your own songs live. There are YouTube videos and such already available to fill your questions about such things, but having a live outlet can offer faster feedback, collaborative or otherwise.
All in all, the future keeps getting brighter for Twitch. If this is what they had in store for us in the first month of the new year, we can only imagine what is to come for next 11 months! Good game, Twitch. Good game. Twitch Fan stamp of approval on both initiatives!