How Twitch can break your artists

The Luck

There’s no shortage of digital companies out there right now that say they can take your acts to new heights. But amidst the hype for TikTok and Instagram, live streaming site is stealthily expanding beyond its core video game audience to provide a crucial platform for new artists.

In last week's edition of Music Week, we explored the impact the platform has had on acts ranging from rising country duo The Luck (pictured) to Lil Nas X. The platform has also live streamed music events, while the likes of Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco, Matt Heafy of Trivium, T-Pain and Deadmau5 have all seized upon the platform's possibilities in a variety of ways.

“These artists are regular streamers and great examples of where music meets gaming on Twitch,” Twitch head of music operations & go-to-market Will Farrell-Green told Music Week. “They all stream different formats, which is great from a content diversification point of view and, as we build our music presence in the future, we’ll look to these types of artists as SMEs [small-to-medium enterprises] and advocates of what’s possible within our community.”

“We’re in regular conversations with both major and indie record labels about different ways to test and learn together,” added head of music strategy and licensing, Pat Shah. “All the labels see the value of participating in our community.”

Twitch stresses it is not just a promotional platform, with artists having full access to monetisation tools for ad revenue and ecommerce. The platform even has its own currency (‘bits’), and channel pages can feature third party links such as Patreon.

“Twitch has always been a home for independent artists who wanted to build their fanbase and interact with their fans,” said Shah, citing The Luck’s use of regular live streams and the staging of their own ‘festival’ on the site, reaching over 500,000 unique viewers, as proof of what can be done. Although he did have one warning…

“Live streaming requires a different mindset than just uploading a video,” he said. “It's more like a FaceTime conversation. It’s a raw, intimate experience that creates a deep emotional connection with your viewers.”

* For the full Twitch story, including interviews with label executives and artists, subscribers can click here. To subscribe to Music Week and never miss a vital music biz story, click here.

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