Twitch emailed its users last week to inform them it’s recently received 1,000 new DMCA takedown requests relating to the unlicensed use of music, all of which were related to VODs. In general, this means fan-created clips and archived recordings of live footage. This is the latest chapter in an ongoing struggle between Twitch, its users, and the music industry, which has seemingly been scouring Twitch for any sign of unlicensed music for most of the last year.
“If a streamer were to do an IRL stream, and you can hear a top 40 song in the background for more than 10 seconds, that stream and the VOD afterward are subject to DMCA,” said Chris Alsikkan, a variety streamer on Twitch, in a direct message to Lifewire. “Twitch needs to do better at negotiating with these record companies the way YouTube has. The current system isn’t working.”
2020 was a good year for Twitch. During the first few months of quarantine, when most other forms of entertainment were postponed or canceled, Twitch’s audience skyrocketed. In December 2019, analysts pegged Twitch’s traffic at around 900 million hours watched; a year later, in December 2020, that had grown 83% to 1.7 billion hours.