Twitch has announced a partnership with Merlin, a digital music licensing partner for independent artists and labels, which will aim to help them reach audiences on Twitch and access new revenue streams.
The livestreaming platform says its new relationship with Merlin – which has offices in the UK, US, Japan and the Netherlands – will expand communications between Merlin members and Twitch, open up support for them to grow their audience bases, and unlock marketing opportunities.
Merlin members will be able to get involved with The Collective, Twitch’s recently launched artist incubator program, and help bring Twitch and independents closer together.
Merlin members and their artists account for over 15% of the global music market share, representing more than 20,000 labels and hundreds of thousands of artists.
Merlin acts as a bridge between its partners and its members, including the likes of Epitaph Records, Armada Music, Sub Pop and more. Merlin has parterships with various digital music services including Deezer, Apple Music, Meta, Spotify, TikTok, Tencent, YouTube and others.
Additionally, Twitch has created a process that enables participating music rights holders, including Merlin and its members, to report certain unauthorised uses of their music.
“It really is an exciting time to be an independent artist,” said Tracy Chan, VP, head of music at Twitch. “The relationship between fan and artist has been transformed, and we’re proud to offer a new pathway to success for so many artists. Our partnership with Merlin affords their members’ independent artists an on-ramp to our devoted and engaged Twitch community.
“We are grateful for the collaborative work of our colleagues at Merlin and know that, together, we can achieve great things for a sector of the music community that has never been more influential.”
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Twitch for this groundbreaking deal,” added Jeremy Sirota, Merlin CEO. “We’ve been engaged in conversations with Twitch since the day I started at Merlin, and I’m pleased that our team found a path for Merlin members and their artists to better engage fan communities across the Twitch ecosystem, whether in music, gaming or beyond. Merlin members are excited to lean into this opportunity on behalf of their artists.”
Twitch has clamped down on streamers broadcasting music without permission over the past year, with some streamers still broadcasting content they don’t have permission to. For example, the ‘Masterchef meta’ where streamers react to cooking TV shows live on their streams.
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Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.