Twitch news; please read!

I appreciate that that many of you will have already engaged in some debate as to the pros and cons on the new DJ category that is incoming on Twitch. But, as a team owner with more DJs than not, I have some grave concerns as to how this will impact us all. I for one, do not wish to become a corporate jukebox DJ who has to select my playlist from a selection of ‘industry approved’ music in order to not recieve DMCA strikes and remain on the platform. I would prefer the selection of music, artistes and labels I support to be based on MY choices, and not those of others. After all, OUR choices of music are what goes a long way to making us all unique as DJs and artistes.

I recently broke down my income to my viewers over the past 5 years and many were shocked. I’ve been recieving 50% of the majority of my subs, less 5% to the U.S government, less 34% to the Australian government, which leaves me with 11% minus running costs each month. So, I’ve been working 70-90 hours every month on streaming activities for just 11% of which I have to pay my bills with. I recently moved to a 60/40 income split, and I’m awaiting my first pay cheque from Twitch to see how that looks, but even then, that’s just 21% to me when all has been taken away. I am unsure as to how this will look when further ‘licensing’ revenue is removed, it may mean that it is no longer viable, I simply don’t know. I believe that Twitch should swallow the licensing fee, not the streamers. I am on the cusp of a 70/30 split, with two more months to go at that level (with your continued support) however, without knowing what the proposed licencing rate is, I don’t even know if this is benefical anymore. I will pursue it regardless, but the future is uncertain.

I agree that artistes and labels should be remunerated for their work, that’s not the question. But this ‘solution’, could potentially cripple many people, including me. I welcome your thoughts.

Here’s the word from Dan Clancy, Twitch CEO:

“Today we’re announcing a dedicated program that will enable DJs to stream the vast majority of popular music in a new DJ Category. This is made possible by a first-of-its-kind partnership with hundreds of companies, including all of the major labels–Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music and a large number of independent labels and other rights holders represented by Merlin. We’re proud to be the first major service to provide a safe, long-term home for DJs to livestream, and we are excited to now be able to promote and support these creators as they build communities on our service and beyond.

DJs have a special place on Twitch. Since early 2020, the number of DJs streaming on our service has more than quadrupled, and tens of thousands have been able to build and monetize communities of music fans here. Simply put, the Twitch community loves DJs, and we believe we are the best service in the world to help these creators reach their full potential.

But DJs have historically faced serious challenges on the internet. DJs often leverage pre-recorded music from other artists as a critical part of their creative expression and livestreaming those DJ performances over the internet therefore requires clearing applicable rights. With the new DJ Program, DJs will be able to continue to grow and engage with the communities they have built on Twitch within a framework that makes it easier to compensate musicians.
One of our core values as a company is that we support creators of all types. When DJs use music created by others, it’s important that any revenue generated on Twitch also be shared with those musicians. This is something many DJs have told us they agree with, but until now there has been no easy way to do so. To cover the cost of the music used in DJ live-streams, we will set aside a portion of earnings generated by DJ channels to be paid to musicians via music companies that represent them. These costs will vary based on how a channel monetizes. For most streamers, Twitch will be splitting these costs 50/50 with the streamer, although initially Twitch will absorb more of the cost. Twitch is covering the costs for DJs who aren’t yet monetizing. Non monetizing streamers will not be financially impacted.

It’s crucial that DJs understand the status quo on Twitch was not sustainable, and any viable future for the community required we find a solution. We’ve worked with music partners over the past few years to develop this program. Without it, those who stream DJ content on Twitch without the necessary rights do so at the risk of receiving DMCA notifications and copyright penalties which could restrict their ability to stream on Twitch.
To help existing Twitch DJs adjust to this new program, Twitch will be offering a 1 year subsidy to help cover the difference in revenue that will be paid out to music companies and their musicians. The amount of the subsidy will gradually reduce over time as the service grows.

This program is only applicable to those who live-stream as DJs, and does not apply to other uses of music. DJs will need to opt-in to a new agreement that will apply to all streaming on their channel. For those who only stream DJ content part-time, we recommend creating a second standalone channel dedicated to DJ live-streaming.

We are announcing this now to give DJs a heads up about what is coming. When we launch later this summer, DJs will be able to opt-in to the program without any immediate impact to their revenue. A few weeks later, we’ll be celebrating the launch of a DJ Category. We strongly encourage DJs to read through the specifics of the program on this page, so you know what to expect moving forward.

Dan Clancy, Twitch CEO”

Here is the article in question: https://www.twitch.tv/dj-program

I’ve spent all day in between preparing music for tonight’s show and tearing myself apart in terms of possibly being able to afford to stream to you in a regular capacity anymore. I cut down my full time hours at my day job in order to stream as often as possible. The hope was that I could make up the difference by streaming. So far, I have been able to get by, but not without the help of Kara, who has bailed me out a few times here and there (I love you babe). I’m clearly not ‘cutting it’ every month in terms of financial independance, even with 30k followers. So, when you see those ‘busy’ and ‘lucrative’ streams, please understand the MASSIVE chunk of YOUR money that goes to Twitch and various governments, before it gets anywhere near the streamers. People often see a ‘successful’ stream, but do not understand where all the income goes. They see 5/10/20/50 gifted subs and think streamers are living the dream. You have no idea how most of us really are not, we are just doing what we love, surving, whilst giving the vast majority of our hard work and income to organisations who already take their fare share.

It truly breaks my heart to know that Twitch are prepared to fuck us DJs so hard, and, that most of us will not be able to afford to carry on, unless we’re in that high-earning category, and are making Twitch big money (the top 1-2% of Twitch).

In the meantime, please drop me a follow at: kick.com/djbrisk – this may well be my last roll of the dice in terms of seeing you all regularly. You all know how excited I was for hitting my massive milestone of 30,000 followers on Twitch (I love you for it!). I am so truly grateful, and I will continue in my endeavours. That said, if Twitch persist in telling me, and others, what we can play and what we cannot, I will have no option but to reconsider my options. I am NOT an industry puppet, neither are you. If you enjoy my content, and I am forced to migrate platforms, I hope that you will come with me.

I may well split my schedule between Twitch and Kick. I don’t event know how it all looks just yet. I am really stressed out about today’s announcement, not only for me but also for you and our community.

Let’s see what happens. I love you all regardless.

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7 June 2024 All News News