The Global Business of Music and Online Gaming: Valued in Billions

Forget popcorn and stadium anthems. The future of fun is firmly gripped by controllers. The gaming industry has become a behemoth, dwarfing both film and sports combined. In 2021 alone, this digital playground raked in a staggering $229.16 billion, according to Fortune Business Insights.

But the story doesn't end there. Gaming is poised to level up even further, forging strategic alliances with the music world. This isn't just about catchy soundtracks; it's about a powerful synergy, blurring the lines between playing a game and living a virtual experience.

Fast Forward to Fun: Gaming Industry Set to Break Records, Hitting $545.98 Billion by 2028

Undoubtedly, the gaming industry presents a wealth of untapped potential, particularly in the realm of live game streaming. For music professionals, a myriad of opportunities await, spanning from forging music licensing partnerships with gaming services to exploring content in-game monetization and sponsorships.

Gaming breaking records

Major game streaming platforms such as Facebook Gaming and Twitch are ushering in a new era for artists and music companies seeking to broaden their audience reach and augment revenue streams. Notably, industry giants like Universal Music Group are making significant strides in the online gaming sphere.

Through expanded collaborations with platforms like Amazon Music and Twitch, integrated with Universal Music Group is paving the way for musicians and labels to cultivate deeper connections with their audiences. This extends to creating exclusive content for these platforms and exploring various commercial avenues.

Independent artists and companies are also seizing the opportunity presented by live game streaming services to showcase and promote their music on a global scale while simultaneously leveraging these platforms to foster fan engagement and monetization.

Ctrl+Alt+Music: Streamers Who Make Gaming Sing

In the realm of online gaming, music is progressively emerging as a pivotal element. Players across various regions engage with music in diverse ways: some prefer to listen to songs while fully immersed in the gameplay, while others discover new releases during their gaming sessions or while tuning in to streamers' broadcasts, where licensed music often enhances the atmosphere. Additionally, many gamers take pleasure in exchanging music recommendations within their gaming communities.

Recent findings from MIDiA Research, conducted in collaboration with Twitch, unveil compelling insights. Online multiplayer gamers from countries such as the U.S., Australia, Canada, Brazil, South Korea, and the U.K. display a heightened interest in streaming songs compared to conventional music service subscribers. Furthermore, they demonstrate a greater inclination to invest in music merchandise, highlighting their profound connection with the symbiotic relationship between music and gaming.

This synergy between music and the gaming subculture has prompted numerous music platforms, brands, and associations to venture into the realm of online gaming. Below, several notable examples of this emerging trend are highlighted.

TikTok Explores Live Streaming Feature to Compete with Twitch

Gaming live streaming

In the first half of 2021 alone, TikTok, the ByteDance-owned app, garnered over 380 million downloads, solidifying its status as the most popular non-game and non-Facebook-owned application. However, its trajectory toward digital eminence is far from over.

Recent reports indicate that TikTok is strategizing to enhance its live streaming capabilities to compete head-to-head with online gaming juggernauts like Twitch.

To achieve this, the platform is piloting a new PC game streaming application dubbed TikTok Live Studio in select Western markets. The imminent global rollout of this app holds promise for further expanding TikTok's influence.

This innovative software empowers TikTok creators to stream seamlessly from TikTok Live using their existing accounts across various devices, including PCs, mobile phones, and gaming consoles. Additionally, it facilitates direct engagement with viewers through the integrated chat feature.

Merlin and Twitch Forge Strategic Partnership to Empower Independent Artists

video and games streaming

While Twitch is commonly perceived as a gaming-centric platform, the American live video streaming service presents abundant avenues for independent artists and record labels to showcase their music catalogs.

In early February, both entities unveiled a strategic partnership aimed at cultivating revenue streams and marketing opportunities for Merlin members. This collaboration encompasses over 20,000 labels worldwide and their associated artists.

This landmark agreement signifies a significant milestone, empowering Merlin members to engage with new audiences and thrive within the Twitch ecosystem. Through live streams and a suite of tools, including the newly launched artist incubator program, members can seamlessly promote their content and foster growth on the platform.


This synergy between music and gaming is reshaping entertainment, attracting artists and record labels to explore new avenues for audience engagement and revenue generation. From strategic partnerships between music associations like Merlin and streaming platforms like Twitch to innovative initiatives by platforms such as TikTok, the potential for indie music in gaming is boundless. Through platforms, artists have the opportunity to seamlessly distribute their music catalogs to a global audience, leveraging the growing popularity of live game streaming platforms to expand their reach and impact in the gaming community.


What role does indie music play in video games?

Indie music enhances the gaming experience by providing unique soundtracks that deepen immersion and emotional engagement while also offering indie artists a broad platform for exposure.

What opportunities exist for music professionals in the gaming industry?

The gaming industry offers opportunities for licensing, in-game monetization, and partnerships for music professionals alongside platforms like Twitch for direct fan engagement and new revenue sources.

How can artists get their music on game streaming platforms?

Artists can distribute their music to game streaming platforms using services that connect to channels globally, including Twitch, Facebook Gaming, and YouTube Gaming.