- SoundCloud is working with livestreaming platform Twitch to help musicians earn money as the COVID-19 pandemic prevents them from playing in live shows. The collaboration lets artists with a SoundCloud account quickly attain "affiliate" status on Twitch to monetize livestreamed performances, per a blog post.
- Having affiliate status on Twitch lets streamers run ads, link to music and merchandise stores and receive direct donations from fans, among other perks. Affiliate status is open to all artists with a SoundCloud Pro, SoundCloud Premier or Repost by SoundCloud account, per the blog post.
- SoundCloud lists the steps that performers need to take to integrate their accounts with Twitch. They first need to set up a Twitch account and fill out an online form to be fast-tracked toward affiliate status. SoundCloud also recommends that artists make sure they have the right equipment, including a computer with a webcam or microphone, to capture sound.
SoundCloud's collaboration with Twitch gives marketers a variety of ways to participate in livestreams by performers, including running ads on Twitch or directly sponsoring artists who perform on the platform, which will boost its regular viewership 14% to 37.5 million this year and reach about 16% of the U.S. audience for digital video, according to an eMarketer forecast.
Paid sponsorships can help brands to reach audiences including young adults and teens who make up a significant audience for live concerts, and are more likely than older generations to consume media on digital platforms. By working with performers who accept paid sponsorships, advertisers also can cut through the clutter while forming positive associations with fans in a brand-safe environment.
The collaboration comes as the coronavirus pandemic significantly disrupts the entertainment industry. With public officials ordering the closure of public gathering places to help slow the infection rate, many performers are left without paying gigs at bars, restaurants, nightclubs, theaters and concert venues. By being an affiliate on Twitch, those performers have a chance to earn money, connect with existing fans and reach new audiences of housebound people looking for entertainment. Dozens of performers, including John Legend, Miley Cyrus and Neil Young, already have livestreamed performances on other social platforms, Vulture reported.
For Amazon-owned Twitch, the collaboration with SoundCloud is an opportunity to greatly expand its programming beyond the gaming livestreams that formed the basis of the platform. Twitch also has worked to expand its live sports programming, but the coronavirus pandemic led many professional sports leagues to suspend their seasons. As recently as this month, Twitch had announced a three-year programming deal with the National Women's Soccer League, whose season was scheduled to start on April 18. Last week, the league announced it would postpone the season for at least eight weeks.