Live-streaming, esports, and gaming news highlights for the week of September 14, 2020

Twitch’s mid-roll ad test ends among community backlash

TL;DR - Earlier this week, Twitch began testing mid-roll ads if certain conditions were met in a streamer’s channel. This sparked near immediate outrage from content creators and viewers alike. That backlash has led Twitch to end the test prematurely, however it issued a statement saying ads are an essential element of keeping the platform free for everyone to use. It’s unclear if mid-roll ads will return under different operating circumstances, but it’s clear Twitch intends to keep experimenting with different advertising initiatives.

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Facebook announces landmark music licensing deal for its content creators

TL;DR - In a first-of-its-kind move, Facebook Gaming has licensed a collection of music for its streamers to use in their broadcasts. The social media platform has worked with the likes of Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Kobalt Music Group, BMG publishing, and others, opening up a massive catalog of music for streamers in more than 90 countries. For the moment, the arrangement is only available to Facebook Gaming partners, but it’s reportedly in the works for Level Up creators as well. Strangely, Facebook can’t tell creators which songs are ok and which aren’t, so it’s still possible they may face DMCA issues if they choose the wrong songs.

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Movement joins forces with Twitch, bringing more virtual music festivals to the platform

TL;DR - The electronic music festival Movement has teamed up with Twitch in a new partnership that promises four online music festivals and fresh weekly streaming content. Movement’s promoter, Paxahau, is also launching its own live content platform which will feature live sets from a collection of different DJs and musical acts, all presumably hosted through Twitch. The first virtual festival kicks off the weekend of September 25th and 26th. The weekly content will include live sets, as well as a variety video podcast.

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Twitch deepens Music push with Beatport partnership

TL;DR - Twitch and Beatport announced an exclusive partnership this week, meaning Beatport will expand its offering of live music on the streaming platform. Beatport will be showcasing different artists and genres of electronic music throughout the week, every week, on its Twitch channel. Programming will include content dedicated to individual artists, as well as to various music collectives from around the world. Beatport is also known for its live event partnerships with festivals such as Glastonbury, Movement Detroit, Creamfields, and Junction 2. In addition, Beatport will provide educational content via its Studio Sessions program.

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AMC and Twitch team up for The Walking Dead streaming channel

TL;DR - AMC Networks will be launching a new Twitch channel, dedicated exclusively to The Walking Dead Universe. AMC will be creating original, live content, with fan interaction a key component. Fans of the franchise can expect to see about 12 hours of original content each week coming from AMC with “a strong social media component”. AMC is working with Hyper RPG to handle technical production for the live-streaming events, and to oversee the interactive components.

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Rap battles are coming to Twitch in new global deal with King of the Dot

TL;DR - Rap battle league King of the Dot has signed a global partnership arrangement with Twitch that will bring complimentary access to its entire catalog of rap battles to Twitch viewers. Additionally, KOTD will live-stream battles from its Grand Prix 2020 tournament, along with an array of other content and celebrity guests. KOTD is considered by many to be an innovator in the rap battle space, meaning this deal could signal an influx of similar arrangements with Twitch and other live-streaming platforms. KOTD mentioned it had been in discussion with other platforms, but that Twitch was “the only team that made it feel right from the start”.

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