The popular live-streaming video platform Twitch, owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon.com has recently been labeled in Germany as a “radio service offering” therefore now requiring a broadcasting license from the 30th April of this month.
The well known German YouTube and Twitch channel PietSmiet has officially been recognized by the German authorities Landesmedienanstalt as a “radio service” and they have temporarily ruled the requirement of a broadcasting license to continue to stream. This license costs between €1,000 to €10,000 depending on the number of viewers.
This temporary ruling is due to the outdated laws and guidelines concerning technology in Germany and in need of an update as stated by The Landesmedienanstalt. Meaning, in the future, there is a possibility of a change in these rules. However, at the moment, without a license now, these stations will be classed as pirate stations and subject to shut down.
These rulings have also come about from the need to stop TV and radio stations from billing themselves as streaming companies to avoid paying a broadcasting license.
Twitch was introduced in June 2011 and is a spin-off to the general-interest Justin.tv which was a site that focused mostly on video gaming which also included playthroughs of video games, creative content, eSports competitions and the most recent addition, music broadcasts.
It has been a hit for many popular and well followed live video gamers who stream live while playing online games or online casino gambling with over 100 million following monthly. Malta-based “Mr Casino “is a well-known Twitch star who SiGMA had the opportunity to interview last year.
Germany, however, is not the only country to take this stance on Twitch. The Chinese government has also introduced a number of new regulations to control content streamed on sites like Twitch and its Chinese equivalents forcing streamers to register with their real names and also banning the streaming of games not allowed or approved in China.
Have you attended SiGMA last year? Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.