Twitch has announced two major initiatives outside of its core competency through a blog post today. The live streaming video platform has forayed into music with the Twitch Music Library and a new Music category. If this abrupt change from video games to music has got you confounded, the company is quick to explain that this does not move its viewpoint from gaming. Rather, the move is aimed at showing just how valuable gamers are to the music industry.

The Music Library has launched with 500 songs from various record labels, which is expected to expand with time. The new service has come on the heels of the company's controversial voluntary crackdown on pre-recorded streams carrying copyrighted music content last year, where videos in violation had their audio stream muted, reports PC Gamer.

As noted by Kotaku, the move was widely viewed as the company taking the route of legitimacy right before announcing its acquisition by Amazon for $970 million. Twitch has positioned the library as a means for users to legally use music in their live streams and video recordings. In other words, users will have to make good use of the Music Library or risk having their videos muted.

The new Music category is currently in beta has been dubbed by the company as "an experiment with music content creators." This service is supposed to be analogous to the core gaming streaming service both in terms of approach and functionality. Much like the existing gaming setup, the Music category has been promoted as a platform for musicians for creating, performing and showcasing original music.

The Music category also promises to relay music performances such as concerts and music festivals by professional artists. Future additions will include radio shows created by approved labels. The newly launched Monstercat FM channel, which functions like a 24-hour music channel, is the first of the promised radio shows. Twitch is currently experimenting with certain users on integrating the channel as a "radio-style music player" for their broadcasts. Twitch has prepared an FAQs page for those who want to explore the new service in detail.

YouTube executives might have a reason to sit up and take notice of this development. Most notably, the Twitch announcement mentions music artists such as Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Porter Robinson and Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, all of whom have their own gaming channels on Twitch. The blog post presumably drops the big names to position the new Music category as a tool for such musicians to showcase their music through the service. To be realistic, however, the probability of music industry bigwigs with their big record, label tie-ups, partaking in this endeavour is debatable.

However, this service does make sense for smaller music artistes showcasing their talent through their YouTube channels. Let's not forget that's exactly how Justin Bieber got into mainstream music. The beta Music category will effectively compete with YouTube in this space. Only time will tell if Twitch's Music endeavour could prove to be a Launchpad for the next Bieber.

Twitch vs Youtube (Credit: YouTube user whiteboy7thst).