San Francisco
12 August 2014
Reporter: Tammy Facey

Twitch presses mute button on VODs

Video gaming platform Twitch and Audible Magic have joined forces to put a stop to copyrighted music being played on video on demand (VOD).

Twitch will scan archived videos for third-party audio with a content recognition function and will subsequently ‘flag’ any content that is in the Audible Magic database and mute the affected portion.

“We’ve partnered with Audible Magic, which works closely with the recorded music industry, to scan past and future VODs for music owned or controlled by clients of Audible Magic. This includes in-game and ambient music.”

It is “intended to help broadcasters avoid the storage of videos containing unauthorised third-party audio,” claims the gaming platform.

According to Twitch, the Audible Magic technology “will scan for third part music in thirty minute blocks. If third party audio is detected anywhere in the 30-minute scanned block, the entire 30 minutes will be muted”.

“Flagged content will display an on-screen notification informing viewers that content owned or controlled by a third party has been identified. The progress bar will also be red for the duration of the muted section,” stated Twitch.

Audition recognition will not apply to live streams.

Audio recognition technology has most famously been employed to monitor YouTube videos through its Content ID programme.

In December 2013, YouTube stepped up its Content ID programme to cover Multi Channel Networks, which affiliate with multiple YouTube channels and assist with activities such as promotion and monetisation.

The extension of the Content ID programme received criticism, with some gameplay videos using protected music being flagged by YouTube.

Gameplay videos are extremely popular on YouTube and are an important marketing tool for publishers. PewDiePie, a channel belonging to a Swedish videogame commentator, has tens of millions of subscribers and has attracted more than three billion views, according to industry statistics.

Videogame publishers such as Ubisoft apologised to fans and issued warnings about the programme.

To manage responses from VOD users, Twitch has suggested users seek free music from Creative Commons, Jamendo and SongFreedom.

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