Amazon is leveraging its investment in live streaming site Twitch to expand its Amazon Music service. The company announced this morning that live streams from Twitch will now be available in the Amazon Music app on iOS and Android, with the aim of enabling fans and artists to connect amid a pandemic where concerts in no one were canceled.
Since the COVID-19 health crisis ended live events, online platforms have stepped in to fill the void. Artists connect and stream to fans via social media and streaming platforms like Twitch, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram Live, and others.
Twitch, in particular, has increasingly supported musicians and other creatives during the pandemic. Earlier this year, the company hosted a benefit in partnership with Amazon Music, called Stream Aid, which featured artists like Diplo, Barry Gibb, Ryan Tedder, Lauv, Charlie Puth, Die Antwoord and others. Twitch hosted a flood of live broadcasts from other artists in the months that followed. According to a report by StreamElements, Twitch increased the number of hours watched in the second quarter of 2020 by 56% compared to the first quarter, passing the 5 billion mark, due to the increase in online entertainment.
As of July 2020, the “Music & Performing Arts” category on Twitch had grown 387% year-over-year to 17.6 million hours watched. Twitch also signed an exclusive streaming deal with multi-platinum artist Logic. Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park created his three-part album series titled “Dropped Frames” entirely on Twitch, in collaboration with his followers. Twitch has also signed exclusive partnerships with festivals, including Rolling Loud and Outside Lands.
Amazon isn’t alone in seeing potential in the live events market. Spotify is also developing a virtual events platform, which is expected to launch soon. And YouTube is promoting its concert footage and live performances as a reason to sign up for its YouTube Music Premium service.
With the Amazon Music partnership now live, fans will be able to start interacting with artists of all genres who plan to stream live on Twitch in the coming days. Some of these streams will be live music while others will be music-related content, such as artist interviews or variety shows.
Upcoming live broadcasts include:
- Brandon Flowers of the Killers and Ronnie Vannucci Jr., who will join Amazon Music on September 4 at 1 p.m. ET to answer questions from fans about their latest album, “Imploding the Mirage”
- Soul singer and storyteller Nicole Atkins to host a variety series Wednesdays at 7 p.m. ET with performances and interviews from friends and artists including Elle King, Cut Worms and Whitney
- Amazon Music UK will broadcast the Heavy Music Awards 2020 live from the HMA London offices on September 3, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. BST / 3:30 p.m. ET and feature performances by The Hunna, Holding Absence, Heart Of A Coward, Wargasm, Coldbones and HAWXX
- The Capital One City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage Anywhere will broadcast exclusive digital performances (Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. EST) covering Latin, the world, hip hop, jazz and more for its weekly concert series.
Artists interested in streaming on the Amazon Music app will need to join Twitch and then connect their Twitch channel through the “Profile and Tools” section of Amazon Music for Artists. Their live streams will then appear on their artist profile page in the Amazon Music app.
Through Twitch’s partnership with Bandsintown, artists were able to quickly access Twitch Affiliate status, giving them access to monetization tools for their live broadcasts. Fans on Twitch can also pay to subscribe to premium channels or leave virtual tips. The new deal with Amazon Music will give artists the same access to accelerate their path to Twitch Affiliate status by connecting their Twitch channel to Amazon Music for Artists, as long as they have over 5,000 fans.
Despite the monetization capabilities of today’s live streaming platforms, they are not a substitute for live events for most artists, given the average virtual concert ticket sales rate. According to data from the virtual concert platform StageIt, reported by Billboard, fans were paying an average of just $ 3.75 for a 30-minute live broadcast in 2011. That amount has now grown to $ 16.50. (There are exceptions, like BTS, which raked in a record $ 20 million for its virtual show, but that’s not the norm.) In most cases, platforms help musical artists overcome the pandemic, but do not make up for all the lost revenue. .
“On average, over 1.5 million people log into Twitch at any given time,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “And now, an artist’s live broadcasts will be made available to Amazon Music’s 55 million customers, representing a unique opportunity to harness the social power of live streaming to create more engagement.” with an artist’s catalog. With this feature, customers will also be able to seamlessly switch between live streams and recorded music, giving music fans a richer experience and the ability to easily explore recorded catalogs of artists, ”they added.
Updated 9/1/20, 12:55 p.m. ET with more detailed details on Twitch’s musical efforts.