Official Twitch Gaming Stream Replaces Audio From Metallica Performance With… Whatever This Is

James Hetfield of Metallica performs on stage during a concert at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna, Austria on August 16, 2019.
James Hetfield of Metallica performs on stage during a concert at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna, Austria on August 16, 2019.
Photo: Georg Hochmuth / AFP (Getty Images)

Fans on the official Twitch gaming stream hoping to enjoy Metallica’s virtual performance at BlizzCon, Blizzard’s annual gaming convention, on Friday heard something that was, uh, definitely not Metallica.

As told by the Verge, viewers on many platforms, including Blizzard’s Twitch and YouTube channels, did successfully rock out to the band’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” However, for some strange reason, the official Twitch gaming channel decided to totally change the vibe shortly after the song began. It cut Metallica and replaced it with… something else.

Check it out for yourself.

Now, it took me a while to find the words to describe this not-Metallica song. At first, it kind of sounded like Christmas. Then I thought it was angelic, but not really. A fellow Gizmodo colleague smartly suggested that it sounded like a remix of Legend of Zelda music, which definitely made more sense. But that begs the question, isn’t it kind of weird to play music that sounds like Blizzard’s competitors?

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That still doesn’t solve of the mystery of what song Twitch replaced Metallica with. After scratching my head, I had an “aha!” moment and Shazamed it. According to Shazam, the song in question is “Toys in Space” by Ecobel. A visit to Epidemic Sound, which manages Ecobel’s music, quickly tells me that this artist is “ambient,” “floating,” “dreamy,” and “hopeful.” Definitely doesn’t remind me of Metallica.

Now to the other question: Why would Twitch do this? It seems like it was an issue related to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“The upcoming musical performance is subject to copyright protection by the applicable copyright holder,” read a message on another stream of the complete performance with an introduction from the band right before.

In other words, Blizzard probably got music rights for its own channels, but not Twitch’s channels. Gizmodo reached out to Twitch to find out what happened. We’ll make sure to update this blog if we hear back.

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That seems like quite a big hiccup on Twitch’s part, which we imagine tried desperately to address its lack of rights by playing “Toys in Space.” I gotta say: It sure was memorable.

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That’s what you get for suing Napster.