It’s almost a surprise that this hasn’t happened sooner, but Amazon Music has now integrated Twitch, the live streaming service owned by Amazon, into its Amazon Music mobile apps.
Artists can now livestream via Twitch, with the streams appearing on their profile page in the Amazon Music mobile app, and followers will be alerted when they go live. Users don’t need a Twitch account or app to watch – they can stream directly from the Amazon Music app.
Artists haven’t hesitated to turn to livestreaming to connect with audiences in the wake of COVID-19, and 17.6m hours of viewing on Twitch in July was in the “music and performing arts” category – although this was only around 1% of total Twitch streaming time.
Currently music brands like Beatport and Anjuna are the most popular music channels on Twitch. It’ll be interesting to see how individual artists’ channels will sit alongside brands like Monstercat, which feature live mixes and a radio-like experience.
Users of multi-faceted Chinese streaming platforms- with integrated live streaming, multiple payment systems, and two-way social communication – have been able to access this kind of hybrid live/on-demand service for a while. In China, popular forms of music livestream are very Twitch-like, where artists and DJs create long stretches of music whilst maintaining a chatty, ongoing conversation with the viewers.
Encouraging artists to engage more with Twitch brings another income stream with it: its own currency, ‘bits’, which viewers can buy, and then donate to channels that they like. Artists will enjoy this potential extra stream of income, as it comes directly from the fans to them. Labels who have invested in growing an artist’s fanbase may wonder if those tips should be shared with them, too.
Twitch had been working to grow its musician creator base before coronavirus changed the performance landscape. This new Amazon Music connection is the most overt step to make Twitch into a more mainstream choice for artists and fans who may only be familiar with Twitch as a streaming platform for gamers.
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