Warner Music Group (WMG) is the first major recording company to partner with Twitch in a deal that will bring WMG artist channels, original music programming and more to the livestreaming platform.
To start, WMG is launching artist channels for Warner Records stars Bella Poarch and Saweetie, plus Atlantic Records singer and producer Sueco, where they’ll share exclusive and behind-the-scenes content. Additionally, social media-focused digital media company IMGN — which WMG acquired last year — will produce a slate of original shows like “The Drop,” to discuss music news; “Freestyle Throwdown,” where rappers freestyle based on topics chosen by the audience; and “The One,” where guest artists perform the songs that influenced them.
“It’s clear that Twitch is an indispensable space for all types of creators to connect with their fan communities,” WMG chief digital officer and evp, business development Oana Ruxandra said in a statement. “Our partnership creates an on-ramp for artists to come onto the service with strong support from Twitch, opening up an entirely new source of incremental revenue. Between the artist-specific channels and the premium IMGN shows we’re planning to launch, music lovers will get a refreshing new view into the world of music and the lives of their favorite artists.”
The partnership gives WMG access to Twitch’s revenue model, where creators earn money through channel subscriptions (priced between $4.99 and $24.99 per month), tips and advertisements; as well as the audience data Twitch offers creators. WMG has been particularly bullish about the revenue potential in digital music experiences, with investments in the likes of virtual concerts company Wave and gaming platform Roblox. WMG chairman and CEO Steve Cooper announced at the Goldman Sachs‘ Communacopia conference last week that the company is now earning $235 million in revenue per year from “alternative offerings that create new use cases for music” like TikTok, Roblox and Peloton.
For Twitch, the partnership reflects a new era of increased collaboration with the music industry. Last week, Twitch reached a settlement with the National Music Publishers’ Association over past music usage and entered negotiations over how to handle music on the platform going forward. Twitch also set up a new process for rightsholders, including WMG, to report unauthorized uses of their music.
WMG’s deal falls under the company’s recorded music side, and does not include its publishing arm, Warner Chappell Music. It currently does not include a music licensing deal of any kind.