According to the announcement, the agreements will provide customers with enhanced access to some of the world’s most popular music content on Amazon, including live streams, high quality and spatial audio, artist merchandise, and exclusive experiences with UMG’s industry leading roster of artists from around the world.
Twitch and UMG also will work together to foster new innovative opportunities for artists and labels to creatively and commercially engage with their fans and new audiences.
The deal is the latest move in the thawing of the music industry’s relationship with Twitch, which was acquired by Amazon in 2014 in a $970 million pact. As recently as the fall of 2020, the interactive livestreaming service was roundly criticized by trade groups for using unlicensed music, claims it disputed. However, it has worked since then to reduce those tensions and strike deals, and today’s announcement shows that effort continuing.
Under the agreements, subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited will have access to stream more music in HD, Ultra HD, and spatial audio from UMG’s catalog. Amazon Music and UMG will also continue to work together to enable fans to purchase merchandise from artists directly from the Amazon Music app, including apparel from UMG’s Bravado, the industry’s leading merchandise company. In the last year, Amazon Music and UMG collaborated with Universal artists including Billie Eilish, Selena Gomez, and the Weeknd to create exclusive merchandise collections tied to their new album campaigns.
Amazon Music also worked with Kanye West to launch limited-edition apparel engineered by Demna for the #FreeLarryHoover Benefit Concert, sold exclusively in the Amazon Fashion store and in the Amazon Music app for a limited time.
Twitch has also agreed to provide commercial opportunities for UMG and its artists to engage directly with fans. UMG will foster the creation of artist and label channels on Twitch and work closely with Twitch to produce an exclusive series of artist features and experiences, in addition to other music-based content, specifically for the service.
UMG EVP of digital strategy Michael Nash said, “With the breadth of their music services and products, and their dedicated focus on customers and creators, Amazon Music and Twitch are excellent strategic collaborators, committed to creating the best and most diverse experiences for fans across streaming music, live streaming, artist collaborations, and physical merchandise.”
Twitch head of music Tracy Chan noted, “Twitch embodies a creator-first culture, including empowering musicians. Now, more than ever, we’re excited to work with UMG in an effort to further broaden the scope of tools available for their artists to engage with fans, while also providing new avenues for their artists to earn meaningful income while streaming on Twitch.”
Amazon VP of Music Steve Boom added, “UMG has been a strategic collaborator for us, as we continue to evolve our service and bring our customers even more ways to engage with their favorite artists, and discover new music. With these agreements, we’re strengthening and expanding how we can continue to work together to provide unique and exclusive experiences and create even more content for listeners.”