Twitch and National Music Publishers’ Association Unveil Agreement, Ending Months of Animosity

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Courtesy of Twitch

After months of strong words, the National Music Publishers’ Association and livestreaming platform Twitch have announced an agreement to work together “to build productive partnerships between the service and music publishers,” according to the announcement. While the arrangement falls short of a licensing deal, it at least is a step toward a more productive relationship between the two entities.

The deal follows months of animosity toward the Amazon-owned streaming platform, from the NMPA along with other industry trade groups, including the RIAA and the Recording Academy, over what they deemed its failure to secure proper synch and mechanical licenses for its Soundtrack tool, as well as “allowing and enabling its streamers to use our respective members’ music without authorization, in violation of Twitch’s music guidelines,” among other claims.

The announcement states, “The deal paves the way for the economics of new gaming models to increase visibility and revenue for songwriters,” adding that “Twitch will provide new opportunities to music publishers who will be offered an opt-in deal allowing for future collaborations to bring new facets to both the gaming experience and songwriter exposure.” It also says that Twitch has created “a new process that participating music rights holders can opt into to report certain uses of their music, to address when creators inadvertently or incidentally use music in their streams.”

NMPA President & CEO David Israelite said, “Both NMPA and Twitch are creator-focused and our respective communities will greatly benefit from this agreement, which respects the rights of songwriters and paves the way for future relationships between our publisher members, songwriters and the service. Through our discussions, Twitch has shown a commitment to valuing musicians and to creating new ways to connect them with fans in this burgeoning and exciting space.”

Twitch Head of Music Tracy Chan added, “We are pleased to reach this agreement with the NMPA and excited about our shared commitment to empowering songwriters and other creators to share their work and passions while connecting with audiences. That’s what Twitch is all about, and we know that great music starts with a great song. We look forward to innovative collaborations that further unlock the incredible potential of our service and our community for music publishers and their songwriter partners.”