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Twitch user develops Spotify hack to overcome music licensing problems on livestreaming platform

By | Published on Monday 19 July 2021


While the music industry continues to fight its copyright battle with Twitch – dropping DMCA takedown bombs from time to time on the Amazon-owned livestreaming platform – one Twitcher has created a possible short term solution for livestream gamers who want viewers to hear their chosen soundtrack to any gameplay. Basically it’s a way for the Twitch streamer and the Twitch viewer to sync their Spotify accounts.

Both record labels and music publishers have become more prolific in filing takedown notices against Twitch in the last year, of course, with the Amazon company yet to properly sort out licences for much of the music that swims around its platform. That has resulted in plenty of Twitch users running into music licensing issues for the first time, Amazon being obliged to respond to any takedowns in order to avoid liability for copyright infringement under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Twitch user Pequeno0 tells Torrentfreak: “I’ve watched a lot of ‘GTA V Roleplay’ on Twitch, and they used to play a lot of music, which fit the RP. When the DMCA strikes hit, they were hit hard. So it was actually with them in mind that I started the project. So I talked to a friend of mine, and we came up with this idea of synchronising music in a way that would still pay the artists”.

Getting technical about how he connects the Spotify accounts of Twitch users, he goes on: “Getting to understand the Twitch API together with the Spotify API was problematic to start with. For example, it’s not possible to embed an iFrame in the Twitch extension”.

“But usually logging in with Spotify happens in an iframe with OAuth. I had to make a popup, and figure out how to send back the results of this popup to the extension to get the token to use for Spotify. This might be changed in the future to a better system to support more platforms”.

There are a couple of other hacks Pequeno0 had to employ, particularly if a streamer changes a track mid-song. And he has plans for possible future development too. “If the extension gets very popular”, he adds, “it could be extended to use even more services, and maybe even lookup songs on different music services, so the viewer/streamer could use different services but listen to the same songs”.

Of course, both Spotify and Apple have been developing their own official group listening services, but creating something similar to overcome licensing issues around livestreaming is an interesting idea.

Maybe if Amazon was to create an official version of this tool linked to – and therefore upselling – its own streaming service, that could be the basis of a truce in the aforementioned music industry v Twitch battle. Or it could just write a few cheques and make the whole problem go away more quickly.