Jun 6, 2024

Introducing the Twitch DJ Program

Today we’re announcing a dedicated program that will enable DJs to stream the vast majority of popular music in a new DJ Category. This is made possible by a first-of-its-kind partnership with hundreds of companies, including all of the major labels–Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music and a large number of independent labels and other rights holders represented by Merlin. We’re proud to be the first major service to provide a safe, long-term home for DJs to livestream, and we are excited to now be able to promote and support these creators as they build communities on our service and beyond.

DJs have a special place on Twitch. Since early 2020, the number of DJs streaming on our service has more than quadrupled, and tens of thousands have been able to build and monetize communities of music fans here. Simply put, the Twitch community loves DJs, and we believe we are the best service in the world to help these creators reach their full potential.

But DJs have historically faced serious challenges on the internet. DJs often leverage pre-recorded music from other artists as a critical part of their creative expression and livestreaming those DJ performances over the internet therefore requires clearing applicable rights. With the new DJ Program, DJs will be able to continue to grow and engage with the communities they have built on Twitch within a framework that makes it easier to compensate musicians.

One of our core values as a company is that we support creators of all types. When DJs use music created by others, it’s important that any revenue generated on Twitch also be shared with those musicians. This is something many DJs have told us they agree with, but until now there has been no easy way to do so. To cover the cost of the music used in DJ live-streams, we will set aside a portion of earnings generated by DJ channels to be paid to musicians via music companies that represent them. These costs will vary based on how a channel monetizes. For most streamers, Twitch will be splitting these costs 50/50 with the streamer, although initially Twitch will absorb more of the cost. Twitch is covering the costs for DJs who aren’t yet monetizing. Non monetizing streamers will not be financially impacted.

It’s crucial that DJs understand the status quo on Twitch was not sustainable, and any viable future for the community required we find a solution. We’ve worked with music partners over the past few years to develop this program. Without it, those who stream DJ content on Twitch without the necessary rights do so at the risk of receiving DMCA notifications and copyright penalties which could restrict their ability to stream on Twitch.

To help existing Twitch DJs adjust to this new program, Twitch will be offering a 1 year subsidy to help cover the difference in revenue that will be paid out to music companies and their musicians. The amount of the subsidy will gradually reduce over time as the service grows.

This program is only applicable to those who live-stream as DJs, and does not apply to other uses of music. DJs will need to opt-in to a new agreement that will apply to all streaming on their channel. For those who only stream DJ content part-time, we recommend creating a second standalone channel dedicated to DJ live-streaming.

We are announcing this now to give DJs a heads up about what is coming. When we launch later this summer, DJs will be able to opt-in to the program without any immediate impact to their revenue. A few weeks later, we’ll be celebrating the launch of a DJ Category. We strongly encourage DJs to read through the specifics of the program on this page, so you know what to expect moving forward.

Dan Clancy, Twitch CEO

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