Earlier this year, a wave of DMCA copyright claims hit Twitch creators who had played copyrighted music in their streams, leading Twitch to recommend streamers not to play copyrighted music at all. Facebook Gaming, the social media giant’s Twitch competitor, has taken a different approach to the issue, announcing that it has worked out licensing agreements with the industry so its streamers can play copyrighted music.
The move is a first in the game streaming industry, and one creators had expected or at least requested from Amazon-owned Twitch. “We’re partnering with the music industry to open up a vast catalogue of popular music for Facebook Gaming Partners to play while livestreaming games,” the Facebook announcement reads. “Our work with music labels, publishers and societies, including Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Kobalt Music Group, BMG publishing, Merlin and many partners means you’re able to include a vast amount of music across a variety of genres – current pop hits, dance floor beats, hip hop, 80s classics and much more.”
At the moment, the license is only current for Facebook’s streaming partners, though the announcement says it’s working on opening up the program to its Level Up creators, a lower tier similar to Twitch’s affiliate program.
For the partners who are eligible, the announcement means they can stream their own playlists from their own music players of choice–though the intricacies of copyright mean Facebook can’t actually say what songs are and aren’t licensed, so it warns that creators may still get a takedown notice for the odd song or two that isn’t covered.
Facebook says that its music rights cover more than 90 countries, though it hasn’t yet listed what countries those are–still, the music license program may suddenly make Facebook a far more attractive platform for game streamers who miss jamming to their favorite songs on stream.