Twitch is making preparations for something big, and while some of those changes don't impact broadcasters and viewers all that much, the latest action by the video game streaming service will make a lot of people mad.
The prevailing rumor is that Twitch will be acquired by Google through its YouTube division later this year for $1 billion or more. And while both Google and Twitch have not publicly talked about the deal, Twitch has done a few things this week that would indicate it is getting its house in order.
Earlier this week it announced that it had shut down the company that spawned it – streaming service Justin.tv. Following that announcement, the company revealed that it was changing the way streamers could archive content and that it would make it easier to export video to YouTube.
But the latest move by Twitch is the most troubling and problematic of all for both streamers and viewers; Twitch has decided that any content that contains copyrighted audio will be muted. This copyrighted audio could include the use of unauthorized music – including music that might have been licensed for a particular game. The music or audio in question relates to the clients of a company called Audible Magic, a music matching and recognition service.
While this latest move is deeply troubling for viewers and content creators, many in the community are gravely concerned that if Twitch is bought by YouTube it will switch to the service's much-hated and extreme Content ID system which allows companies to take down videos in the blink of an eye over copyright infringement claims.
We will have more on this story as it develops.