Merlin, the independent’s digital music licensing partner, today announced a dynamic new agreement with Twitch, the interactive live streaming service for content spanning gaming, entertainment, sports, music, and more. Through its creator-first culture, Twitch has served as a powerful service for fan engagement and new music discovery. This partnership recognizes the power of independent artists and their impact in the Twitch community, creates revenue earning opportunities for Merlin members and their artists, and leans into Twitch’s increased focus on music-centric programming.
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Twitch for this groundbreaking deal,” said Jeremy Sirota, Merlin CEO. “We’ve been engaged in conversations with Twitch since the day I started at Merlin, and I’m pleased that our team found a path for Merlin members and their artists to better engage fan communities across the Twitch ecosystem, whether in music, gaming or beyond. Merlin members are excited to lean into this opportunity on behalf of their artists.”
Over the past two years, Twitch has become an increasingly popular way for artists to create content, interact with their fans, generate earnings, and build community. This new relationship with Merlin will expand direct communications between Merlin members and Twitch, open up dedicated support for those members and their artists to grow their audience bases, and unlock marketing opportunities to the benefit of all.
“It really is an exciting time to be an independent artist,” said Tracy Chan, VP, Head of Music at Twitch. “The relationship between fan and artist has been transformed, and we’re proud to offer a new pathway to success for so many artists. Our partnership with Merlin affords their members’ independent artists an on-ramp to our devoted and engaged Twitch community. We are grateful for the collaborative work of our colleagues at Merlin and know that, together, we can achieve great things for a sector of the music community that has never been more influential.”
Reflecting Merlin’s global membership, this agreement will unlock live experiences worldwide, create artist and label marketing opportunities for Merlin members (e.g., via The Collective, Twitch’s recently launched artist incubator program), and help bring Twitch and independents closer together. Accounting for over 15% of the global music market share, Merlin members and their artists are highly diverse—representing more than twenty thousand labels and hundreds of thousands of artists from every country in the world. Merlin acts as a bridge between its partners and its membership, offering support and tools to help partners better understand and connect with Merlin members. In addition, Merlin educates and engages its members to help them innovate, incubate new ideas, lean into the latest features and marketing opportunities with partners, and build strategies for success on digital platforms. The synergies between Twitch and Merlin are an exciting starting point for a long term partnership.
Additionally, Twitch has created a process that enables participating music rights holders, including Merlin and its members, to report certain unauthorized uses of their music.