Want to make your Twitch stream more engaging? Picking the right background music can really amp up the atmosphere of your streams. But be careful — music and copyright are a complicated duo. One wrong move and you could face demonetization, your content being taken down with a DMCA strike, or even an account suspension. To help you avoid all that hassle, we've put together a solid list of places where you can find loads of royalty-free music that'll make your stream stand out.
Twitch DMCA Guidelines
The Digital Millenium Copyright Act requires Twitch to take certain actions when rightsholders assert that users have violated their copyrights. After years of freely incorporating music into content, Twitch has revised its Terms of Service to align with DMCA regulations, thereby forbidding streamers from utilizing copyrighted tracks and leading to a significant surge of DMCA takedown notices.
To put it simply, Twitch has no choice but to comply with the DMCA to steer clear of facing lawsuits from copyright owners. The platform also doesn't have the authority to bring legal verdicts regarding copyright infringement allegations, so it acts just like an intermediary, leaving the responsibility of resolving the problem to the account holder and the rights holder.
What Music is Allowed on Twitch?
Fundamentally, you have three options:
Create your original music, including unique lyrics, so you control all rights to share.
License music by negotiating with copyright owners, considering licensing fees and royalties.
License royalty-free music
While the two first methods tend to be a long-drawn-out process, the third one takes you minutes – not days or months – and offers you the same DMCA protection at a reasonable price!
What is Royalty-Free Music?
The term "royalty-free" refers to music licensed for use without the obligation to pay royalties for intellectual property. Consequently, royalty-free music tracks are those you do not own, yet you can incorporate them into your streams without the risk of copyright strikes.
Numerous royalty-free music sources are available for use in your streams. Most of them request a fee in exchange for access to their library, but we'll mention a few free options. Let's look through the collection!
Epidemic Sound is a Swedish-based music licensing company that provides a vast library of more than 30,000 multigenre high-quality tracks and is compatible with Spotify. Their platform offers a 30-day trial to experience all the features firsthand and a subscription-based model that allows content creators to access their extensive catalog for €17.99 per month or €131.88 yearly, which saves up to 39%.
In addition to Twitch, their license covers music for platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Listen and download each part of a desired audio, make your unique playlists from music made by artists exclusively for Epidemic Sound, and don't worry about copyright strikes anymore!
With the Artlist subscription, you get unlimited music downloads, 400K+ premium assets, and the perfect license for almost any project and platform, including Twitch. Artlist adds new music tracks and sound effects to their library daily, ensuring that subscribers have a variety of options to choose from, and the platform boasts a diverse selection of music genres. The cheapest Music & SFX plan costs $9.99 monthly and fully covers your need for Twitch background music. Still, there's also SFX pro for $16.58 monthly with unlimited license for podcasts, paid ads, and TV, and MAX plan for $39.99 with an additional video and image editing app, plugins, and video templates.
SoundStripe offers over 200K premium music, sound effects, and video assets with unlimited downloads that you can legally use in your creative projects. With their Creator plan for $14.99 monthly, you get access to the music gallery, including curated playlists and weekly updates, and Soundstripe mobile app to discover and download music on iOS & Android. With the Pro for $29.99, you'll have everything included in Creator plus stems for all songs and post-production features. Filter your search by genre, mood, key, and bpm – you'll find the perfect music in seconds!
Comma is a successful player in the field of royalty-free music that has already worked with many well-known brands. Not only does it enable you to explore a multitude of tracks categorized by genre and style, but it also stands out as the sole royalty-free music library with a student discount. Send Comma a brief and get a complimentary search and licensing rate card or choose a Standard subscription plan for $25 monthly right away and curate playlists made by the finest composers.
Another popular platform, Pretzel Rocks, has over 60 curated stations with hours of music for all tastes, from lo-fi to EDM, from rock to country. Their catalog is frequently updated with new Twitch-safe music picks so you can explore more stations and elevate your content. For $4.99 per month, you'll get rid of DMCA hassles and get built-in hotkeys, access to support, and the "What's playing" chatbot that announces tracks directly to your Twitch chat. Pretzel makes your streaming experience safe and supports artists, as they receive 70% of the fees.
Monstercat Gold is a lifesaver that lets you enjoy a vast library of music in scary DMCA times. Their catalog features thousands of royalty-free songs that may be your Twitch soundtrack for $5 per month. Golden users receive a monthly discount code to the Monstercat Shop with their merch, exclusive access to their Discord channel, and a custom Reddit flair on /r/Monstercat.
Even if you're on a tight budget, there's no need to deny yourself the pleasure of DMCA-free music during streams.
Try the following options:
StreamBeats: a platform founded by Harris Heller, a Twitch streamer, provides royalty-free music for Twitch streamers and YouTubers that you can play for free. There're 15 genres to choose from and thousands of tracks on their website, YouTube, and Spotify.
NCS: a record label that provides a free-to-use high-quality catalog of over 1500 electronic dance music songs for content creators.
Royalty-free YouTube channels: some musicians offer royalty-free music playlists for content creators. For example, Comfi Beats by popular streamer Lili Pichu, Chillhop Music, and GameChops upload music that others can use on their broadcasts as long as you credit them. You can also reach out to other music creators and inquire about the potential collaboration, outlining how you can support their channel.
Am I allowed to play music from streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music on Twitch?
Playing music from Spotify or Apple Music can potentially lead to copyright issues and violations. Even if you have a Premium plan, you still don't own the appropriate rights to copyrighted music.
Can I use royalty-free music on other streaming sites?
Yes, most royalty-free music platforms allow you to use their music on various platforms, and you can find all the necessary info on their Terms of Service.
How do I get permission to play music that is copyrighted?
Getting permission to play copyrighted music involves contacting the copyright holders or their representatives and obtaining a license or permission to use the music in your specific context.
Can I use 10 Seconds of a copyrighted song?
Using 10 seconds of a copyrighted song without permission may still constitute a copyright infringement. Despite the well-known myth, copyright law doesn't provide a specific "10-second rule" or any other set duration that universally determines whether a use is permissible.
How can I listen to music while streaming without broadcasting it to viewers?
To isolate audio from viewers, you can install a separate audio source or configure your streaming software, such as OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS with virtual audio cables.
Wrapping it up
That's it! With mindfulness and access to all DMCA-free resources, you can eliminate concerns about copyright complications. Explore the music, find your ideal source, and take your stream to the next level!