YouTube has apparently been eyeing up Twitch.TV for a few months now, looking at the new media platform as a branch into the eSports and the competitive gaming side of streaming, where YouTube currently lacks an audience.
This new move could be the reason Twitch has suddenly got serious when it comes to ContentID. The streaming service has announced unauthorised audio on streamer’s VODs will result in thirty minute silent segments.
The state of Twitch.TV when it comes to copyright music reminds us of YouTube before Google started bothering. Almost all popular streamers play from their Spotify, YouTube or Pandora playlists, without a cent going to copyright holders.
It looks like for now, Twitch will only focus on “videos-on-demand” on the streamer’s channel. The active stream will not be muted if the steamer plays copyrighted music, but this will lead to a block on the VOD, if they intend to post it afterwards.
For streamers who rely on music and not their own persona, this could be damaging to their revenue on VODs. Thankfully, Twitch’s VOD community is rather small, compared to the amount of people that watch live streams.
There is no telling when Twitch will bring this ContentID service over to streaming. YouTube does not have ContentID for their streaming service, but then again YouTube’s streaming service attracts far less viewers than Twitch.
It might be said that this copyrighted music could lead to viewers checking out the song and buying it. This is a real debate, but the music industry wants none of it, and will actively look to strip streamers of their revenue in order to keep music off the VODs.
The system is not working as intended right now, the ContentID appears to be flagging almost any noise outside of the steamer’s voice. This has effected Valve’s DoTA 2 tournament, music they had the rights to, and even Twitch’s own channel.
As the system is worked on, we are sure Twitch will fix some of the issues and partner with more music providers. It might even lead to streamers setting up deals similar to Spotify, where subscribers can listen to the playlist.
This is a far way off though – right now, Twitch looks like YouTube a few years ago, when the floodgates opened and thousands of DMCA claims were sent to various YouTube channels.