Twitch Introduces Audio Content Matching System For VODs
The YouTube-ification of Twitch continues this week. With the shut down of Twitch Interactive’s original live-streaming website, Justin.tv, on Tuesday, Twitch made another move that moves it closer to being a live-streaming arm of YouTube. In a blog post on Wednesday, Twitch announced that they were introducing an audio content recognition algorithm to identify and mute copyrighted audio in VODs.
Until Wednesday, Twitch didn’t have a formal content matching system in place. They did have the requisite DMCA claim system in place. However, this is their first step toward a YouTube-style ContentID system. Unlike YouTube who have an internally developed system, Twitch has licensed theirs from Audible Magic who compare audio in VODs to the audio in their library.
The new system will see the content matching system scan VODs in 30 minute increments. If you’re watched Twitch VODs in the past, you know they’re saved and playback as connected 30-minute segments. Should the content recognition software identify audio that matches copyrighted content in Audible Magic’s database, the 30-minute VOD block with that audio will be muted in its entirety and a notification will be shown at the bottom of the screen.
In addition to introducing content matching, Twitch is also planning to introduce an appeal system for users claiming they’ve been incorrectly flagged for a false positive. That system hasn’t been detailed but one would hope that it doesn’t prove to be as blatantly one-sided toward copyright holders as YouTube’s but that might be a pipe dream considering who now owns Twitch.
And while Twitch has activated their system, it still has a few kinks to work out. VODs of The International 2014 have been flagged for content matching though no one can figure out why. Comically, VODs for Twitch’s weekly show on its own channel have also been flagged and muted.
I don’t think anyone didn’t believe that this wouldn’t be coming at some point. Hopefully this doesn’t lead to a similar content apocalypse as happened on YouTube. Mind you, all the complaining will likely play out the same way. People will complain and look for an alternative only to find nothing that would serve as a suitable alternative.
At the very least, we can take solace in the fact that it only affect VODs on Twitch and not live streaming or exported VODs (which will be subject to the copyright system of which ever site they’re uploaded to). If that happened, there would be a whole lot of trouble brewing.