Game Streaming Giant Twitch Announces Its Entrance Into the Music Biz

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Steve Aoki performs onstage at the 2014 Budweiser Made In America Festival at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on August 30, 2014 in Philadelphia, PA.

Gaming site Twitch has announced on its blog two new music-related developments: a fully licensed music library and a music content creation tool.

"We understand that this is new and may be a bit confusing given Twitch's long-standing 'gaming-only' stance," says the blog post. "We view music as an expansion, but gaming will always be our core focus." Music and Twitch have always been very much intertwined, from avowed video game fans like Porter Robinson hosting his own Twitch channel to DJ Steve Aoki live-streaming concerts on the site. And the musical connection extends to gaming in general: last year, Imagine Dragons wrote a song for the 2014 League of Legends championship, and Lil Wayne and Fred Durst are among that game's avid players. 

In Twitch's case, legitimizing songs used to soundtrack many of the players' games appears to be part and parcel of the site's partnership with Audible Magic, which muted uncleared tracks in livestreamed videos ahead of Twitch's rumored acquisition by Google (Twitch was later purchased by Amazon for slightly south of $1 billion). "As you may recall, we implemented an audio recognition system last year out of respect for copyright holders and to protect both our broadcasters and our brand," the post says.

 So far, the predominantly electronic music-focused labels that have contributed over 500 songs to music.twitch.tv include Mad Decent, Dim Mak, Spinnin' Records, OWSLA, Fool's Gold, and Monstercat, which has also launched a "radio-style" 24-hour Twitch music channel called Monstercat FM. Artists are also encouraged to make their own videogame scores with Twitch's beta Music category, which provides a DIY way of circumventing those troublesome copyrights.  

Check out the infographic below for a breakdown of the musical steps Twitch took to arrive here.