German authority Landesmedienanstalt has temporarily ruled that streamers broadcasting on services like Twitch which is called out specifically need to purchase a broadcasting license that costs up to 10,000€ ($10,606 / £8,493). It is likely the requirement also applies to streaming services like YouTube Live and Beam.
The new law means that streamers will require a Rundfunklizenz (broadcasting license) that can cost between 1000€ and 10,000€. The amount you need to pay depends on the audience size among other factors. Those that stream their content without a license will be classified as a pirate station and would be subject to penalties.
The ruling appears to have come about due to PietSmiet, why that content creator was picked out isn’t clear. It does mean, however, that the ruling may also mean streaming will be bound by content regulations such as no adult content before 10pm. That would be similar to the 9pm broadcasting watershed in the UK that TV and radio broadcasters have to follow.
The ruling is only temporary as Landesmedienanstalt themselves agree that the laws need to be revisited as they were created before streaming became popular in this method. The law is still valid though so that it doesn’t set a precedent for TV and radio broadcasters to ditch their fees.