Although many industries have seen their worlds disrupted radically this year, the online industry has remained more or less immune to the pandemic shockwaves. In fact, most web-based entertainment platforms have experienced a boom thanks to the millions of people who decided to stay home and binge on their favorite movies and music during self-isolation.
Twitch is a prime example of this dramatic boost for online platforms during the global pandemic. One of the world’s most popular gaming and streaming platforms with almost 4 billion unique broadcasters contributing content 24/7, it set a new record in April with 1.65 billions of hours of content viewing hours for a single month.. This increase in viewing hours has rippled through the Twitch business model as content creators of all types flock to the platform to showcase their ideas.
But as Twitch and other platforms continue to learn, with increased success and rapid growth comes an increased risk of misuse of the platform. In response, Twitch has joined YouTube and other platforms in tightening its copyright policies and updated their community guidelines page to stress that streaming any music without the right to do so is strictly forbidden. Now it is specifically stated that creators are not allowed to upload radio-style music listening shows, DJ sets, karaoke performances, lip-synch performances, cover-song performances, or even the popular visual depictions of music without securing the appropriate permissions.
However upset Twitch users might be with this change, the fact is that global music copyrights are increasingly complicated as new streaming platforms enter the market every month. For some users copyrights are of little or no concern. They simply stream original music with no concern for the moral (is it right to do?) or legal implications (is it legal to do?) of their decisions.
But copyright laws of all types are in place to protect creators and artists working in all media, from music to photography to dance. They are designed to ensure that creators are can be rewarded fully and adequately for the years of hard work, perseverance, and talent they have put into their art. And while the amount of money a creator receives from you listening to your favorite song in the privacy of your own home might be small, when it is multiplied millions of times over through a platform like Twitch the impacts are larger. Copyright protection is critical to the ongoing creation of the pictures and sounds and experiences that make our lives as rich as they are.
As an elite sound stream service, SoundMachine ensures that creators are compensated fairly for their art. We comply fully with international music copyright laws so that you can listen to the music you love in your office, retail space, or restaurant knowing that the artists’ rights are fully protected. These rights do not cover live shows or DJs, but they do cover those that a manager of a coffee shop needs to import their favorite playlists from Spotify. That way you can enjoy the music without a single worry that copyright claims might one day land on your desk or an ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or GMR agent show up at your door to talk compensation.