Twitch continues music expansion with Ultra festival deal



Live video service Twitch made its name with games, but the company has clear ambitions in the music world too. The latest example is a partnership with dance event the Ultra Music Festival, which takes place this weekend. It’ll be streaming live footage on its official Twitch channel, complete with a sponsor – fizzy-drink brand 7UP. Expect sets from the likes of Avicii, Carl Cox, Skrillex and Steve Aoki, so the live broadcasts should be a big online draw.

Here’s the official pitch from Twitch’s head of music (yep, it has one) Colin Carrier: “Our community has illustrated a strong affinity for live music, making Twitch a compelling new way for artists to connect with their fans. Being able to host the Ultra Music Festival on our platform with sponsorship from a brand like 7UP is testament to the power of live social video.”

The Ultra partnership follows Twitch’s move into music in July 2014 with a live-streamed set from Aoki – followed by an album launch the following month for fellow EDM star Porter Robinson. There have also been moves to filter out unlicensed music from regular game streams, then – in January this year – the launch of a licensed music library for its broadcasters to use instead.

Amazon bought Twitch in August 2014 for $970m, and has seen the service continue its growth in popularity. Twitch ended 2013 with 45m monthly active viewers; was at 55m at the time of the acquisition; and then took off to reach 100m monthly viewers by the end of 2014. The company now sees that audience as being ripe for music – and ripe for dance music in particular, judging by its choice of partners among individual artists and bigger brands.

Stuart Dredge

Read More: Analysis News
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