Warner Music Group and Twitch ink ‘first-of-its-kind’ partnership

Warner Music Group (WMG) and Twitch have struck what the two companies call a “first-of-its-kind” partnership – marking the Amazon-owned livestreaming platform’s first partnership with a major record company.

The agreement with Warner Music Group’s recorded music business will see the launch of WMG artist channels, including Warner Records stars Bella Poarch and Saweetie and Atlantic Records’ viral breakout singer/producer Sueco, featuring exclusive content and behind-the-scenes material.

A standalone WMG music space featuring premium music-centric programming will also be created and promises to be “an up-to-the-minute exclusive experience”.

It will feature professionally produced original programming curated by digital media company IMGN, which WMG acquired last year.

According to a media statement, the move “empowers Warner Music’s talent to tap into Twitch’s unique creator-driven model, opening up additional income opportunities, as well as access to Twitch’s fan engagement tools to get to know their audiences better”.

Upcoming programming includes ‘The Drop’, where hosts and audience talk about the latest news from the world of music with special guests and performances and ‘Freestyle Throwdown’, in which Twitch rap talent show.

Additional program, ‘The One’, will see guest artists perform songs that inspired them and take audience questions, as well as meet up-and-coming Twitch musicians that they have inspired in turn.

The news of WMG’s partnership with Twitch comes just a few days after Warner Music Group boss Steve Cooper confirmed that WMG’s recorded music operation has a present run-rate of $235 million per year in revenue from “alternative offerings that create new use cases for music”.

Those alternative platforms include players from across the social, fitness and gaming worlds, such as Facebook, Peloton, TikTok and Roblox.

“We believe that this intersection between gaming, fitness, [and] social/digital, will drive substantial revenues in the future,” said Cooper, speaking during an interview at the Goldman Sachs‘ Communacopia event on Thursday (September 23),

Twitch has now inked two significant music business deals in less than two weeks.

Last week, Twitch and The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) announced an agreement, which, in a statement they explained will see them “work together to build productive partnerships between the service and music publishers”.

Twitch has also announced that it has created a new process that participating music rights holders, including WMG, can opt into to report certain uses of their music, “to address when creators inadvertently or incidentally use music in their streams”.

”It’s clear that Twitch is an indispensable space for all types of creators to connect with their fan communities.”

Oana Ruxandra, WMG 

Oana Ruxandra, Chief Digital Officer and EVP, Business Development, WMG said: ”It’s clear that Twitch is an indispensable space for all types of creators to connect with their fan communities.

“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 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.”

“We appreciate the progressive approach of our colleagues at Warner Music and look forward to a productive partnership.”

Tracy Chan, Twitch

Tracy Chan, VP, Head of Music, Twitch added: “Twitch has always been – and will continue to be – creator first. For fans, artists and all creators, this is a great step forward.

“The myriad opportunities for fans and artists to forge meaningful, direct and valued relationships on Twitch continue to expand every day.

“Working together, we can create new paradigms and opportunities for artists and the Twitch community, all grounded in the passion of fans.

“We appreciate the progressive approach of our colleagues at Warner Music and look forward to a productive partnership.”Music Business Worldwide

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