Universal Music Group is expanding its partnership with Amazon Music and Twitch. The expansion will provide Amazon Music and Twitch users more access to UMG content than ever, including new live streams, spatial audio, artist merchandise, and “exclusive experiences” from UMG’s wide ranging roster of artists.
Twitch — the popular gaming and video livestream service, purchased by Amazon in 2014 — specifically will produce an exclusive series of artist features and experiences for UMG signees.
The expanded partnership comes after a landmark settlement between the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and Twitch in 2021, which required the streaming platform to pay a financial settle to account for its past use of music on the platform, create a new process for music rights holders to report unauthorized use of their work, and offer NMPA members an opt-in deal for licensing.
NMPA member Universal Music Publishing Group confirmed with Billboard that it has a pre-existing deal with Twitch and was not part of this extension.
“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,” says Tracy Chan, head of music at Twitch.
On the Amazon Music side, the streaming service will expand its offerings of exclusive UMG artist merchandise directly on the app, including more apparel from Bravado, the music company’s self-owned merchandise brand. The music giant will also expand its high definition listening options on the Amazon Music app.
This is the latest in a larger industry push towards offering high fidelity and spatial audio mixes of songs to fans. Amazon Music, Apple Music and Tidal all offer various options for fans (Spotify is currently in development of their own HD listening tier), looking for enhanced listening experiences, but high resolution audio is still fairly limited. Since creating hifi versions of previously released songs requires the extra help of a seasoned audio engineer, many artists do not have these versions of their work on hand. The new expansion with Amazon Music proves that UMG, the world’s largest music company, is dedicated to increasing their offerings in this field.
“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,” says Steve Boom, vp of Amazon Music.
UMG’s Michael Nash, evp of digital strategy, adds, “With these agreements, we are proud to build on our track record of success in working closely with Amazon, and we’re looking forward to delivering even more incredible experiences for our artists and music fans everywhere.”