Twitch broadcasters who want to add some background music can now choose from more than 500 free songs, with no risk of being muted later.
The free tracks come mainly from indie labels, but as The Verge points out, a couple are spearheaded by big names such as Steve Aoki and Skrillex.
Although Twitch streamers can still include whatever music they want in their live broadcasts, last year Twitch began cracking down on copyrighted music in archived videos by muting the offending portions of the audio feed. The new tracks are a way to safely avoid these issues (though they may not help with accidental flagging of in-game music and amateur singing.)
Twitch also announced a new category (currently in beta) just for live music streaming. A quick look through the channel shows people creating music on their computers, strumming on the guitar, and streaming live playlists. Twitch has dabbled in live music before--for instance, with a free Steve Aoki concert last summer--but now there's an easier way to find those channels that aren't specifically related to video games.
Why this matters: While the free music library is more important to Twitch's core audience, the new music category could have the most lasting impact. It's another indication that Twitch is expanding beyond the gaming focus that put it on the map--and a sign that Amazon saw much greater potential when it acquired Twitch for nearly $1 billion last year.