You are watching a stream and they are bumping some Drake, or some Justin Beiber (ok maybe not the Beibs) but isn’t this music copyrighted? And wouldn’t playing it on stream be illegal?
How do Streamers get Away with Playing Copyrighted Music?
To play copyrighted music on your stream, without consent of the artist or their recording company, is illegal.
Streamers who do play copyrighted music are indeed doing so illegally; however, when the music is played during a live stream it is difficult for Twitch and other streaming platforms to detect it and punish these streamers. For this reason, many who play copyrighted music during their live streams often do so free of consequences while they are live.
However, this does not mean that these streamers go unpunished, especially lately with all of the DMCA claims.
If you have copyright music playing on your live streams, your VODS or on your Twitch clips it will only be a matter of time before these VODS and videos are either muted or removed from your channel and you are given a DMCA claim.
Playing live copyright music on your streams also puts you at risk of having your Twitch account shut down. Not good!
But don’t worry! There is a way that you can play great music on your streams that is royalty free so you won’t have to worry about getting in any trouble with Twitch.
In order to play great music on stream, streamers use websites such as Epidemic Sound to find songs and sound effects that they can use legally and royalty free.
These songs can be downloaded and used on things such as Twitch streams and Youtube videos to help enhance the quality of your content.
In my opinion, having access to thousands of songs and sound effects is totally worth it! I recently signed up for Epidemic Sound and I absolutely love it!
Thousands of songs and sound effects that you can use on Youtube or on your stream, and completely royalty free so you won’t have to worry about a DMCA claim.
And even better, they offer free trials so you can check them out for free. Not too shabby eh?
If you do like them and decide you want to continue using their music then you will have to pay a small monthly fee, but to me it’s worth it to pay a little money in order to not have to worry about my stream getting shut down over DMCA.
If you want to check them out, click on the link here.
Also, if you are going to be playing and listening to a lot of music on your stream, I also recommend that you get a good pair of headphones.
I recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x which you can get on Amazon. In my opinion, you won’t find a more versatile pair of quality headphones for such a good price.
These headphones are good for gaming, listening to music, streaming and recording. I recently switched from using a cheap gaming headset as my headphones to the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the difference is night and day.
The sound is so crisp and clear. I love it man. Timthetatman uses them too, just saying.
Now back to the music. If a streamer chooses to save or clip their live stream, or if Twitch finds out that you are playing copyright music on your streams, then that saved video will most likely be muted or deleted entirely from the streaming platform you are using, your Twitch account may be suspended and you may receive a DMCA claim.
And as you have seen lately, DMCA claims are becoming more and more common.
Streamers who play copyrighted music are also running the risk of having their channel being shut down completely and lawsuits being pressed against them. It’s just not worth the risk.
For this reason it best to avoid putting yourself or your stream in any trouble and use music that has been made free to use by the artist such as those on Epidemic Sound.
How to Play Music on Your Twitch Stream
Although there are several ways to play music on your stream, the most commonly used method is playing the music through the Nightbot website. To play music on your stream with Nightbot follow these simple steps:
- First go to https://beta.nightbot.tv/ and link your Twitch account to Nightbot.
- Once you have linked your account, go to your dashboard on Nightbot and on the right side of the screen there should be a button that says “join channel”. Click this to allow Nightbot to join your channel.
- Now that Nightbot has joined your channel, go to your stream on Twitch and type in “/mod nightbot” in your stream’s chat. This will make Nightbot a moderator in your stream.
- Finally go back to Nightbot and click the section on the left side of the screen titled “song requests”. Two options will appear “AutoDJ” and “playlist”. Click “AutoDJ” and your stream will now have music playing. You can skip songs and view upcoming songs from this section as well.
If you are going to be playing music on your stream while you game then you should also consider getting a mixer.
If you are a beginner then one of the best and easiest to use mixers out there is the GoXLR Mini which you can get on Amazon. This mixer is super simple to setup and use.
Having a mixer really makes it easy to control the sound on your stream. A mixer gives you control of your mic, chat, game, etc. all with a small pad that you can have sitting right next to you.
Now, If you want to give others permission to select the music that gets played on your channel then follow these steps:
- Go to the “song requests” section and click on the “AutoDj” tab.
- From there go to the right of the “song requests” heading and click the “enable” button. This will enable others to request songs to be played on your stream.
- Now to adjust exactly who can request
- Once inside the settings, click on the tab that says “userlevel”.
- From here you will be able to adjust who can select song weather it be “everyone”, “subscribers”, “mods”, etc.
The “settings” has other options that you can adjust such as where the music can be pulled from and how many songs can be inside the queue at once. This is up for you to decide as the streamer.
Giving others the chance to choose music on your stream can be great because it allows your viewers to get more involved, but it can also become a headache to police everyone.
I have seen streams where the Subs will choose some really annoying and awkward songs just to troll the streamer. For this reason it is important to have good Mods who can monitor the songs that are requested.
One last thing to consider when allowing other to choose your music is that playing copyrighted music on your stream is illegal and will get the sections of your VODs (or saved broadcasts) playing the copyrighted music muted.
If a person requests a popular song, chances are that it’s copyrighted and so you might want to skip to the next song in order to avoid any penalties.
Should I Play Music on my Stream?
Playing music during games depends on the game that you stream. However, regardless of the game, all streamers should play music in between games or when there is down in their stream. Playing music throughout the stream helps keep the energy levels high and helps keep the viewers engaged.
Now as was mentioned, streaming during your game play really depends on the game you play.
For example, if you like to stream shooter games then it does not make sense to play music while you are playing. Think of Fortnite; if you are listening to some banging trap music while you are playing then it will be difficult to hear enemy footsteps or opponents who are shooting at you.
Not being able to hear those things can really effect your game play.
Not only could listening to the music while you stream effect your game play, but it could effect how engaged your viewers are in watching you play.
Staying with the Fortnite example, your viewers want to hear things around you as well. Playing music could really mess up the viewing experience and this goes for most shooting games.
Now other games that actually do really well with music in the background are sporting games. Games like Madden or NBA 2K are obviously not as action packed as a shooting game and that’s why the music helps make it more engaging for viewers, especially when there are lulls in the game.
Just ask yourself what is more thrilling? Coming off a dope win in the game you are playing and going into the lobby and there’s just you talking about who knows what OR coming off a dope win and there is just some bangin music bumpin in the background…you decide.
What Kind of Music Should You Play on Your Stream?
When it comes to deciding what kind of music to play on your stream you want to try and choose music that will bring energy to your stream and can be enjoyed by many people.
For this reason, electro dance music (EDM) is really good to play on your streams. EDM was made to get people hyped and to bring energy to the people who listen to it. Playing it in between games is a great way to keep the positive vibes and energy flowing.
Imagine coming out of a sweet win and chilling in the lobby with some awesome bangin EDM flowing. Dang, now that’s hype!
Another thing working in EDMs favor is that most EDM has very few or no lyrics. This is good because if you are trying to have a clean stream you don’t have to worry about anything vulgar or offensive being played over your stream.
EDM is also fairly neutral meaning it is liked, or a least tolerated by most people. Some people don’t like country music for example *raises hand slowly*, but most people don’t mind listening to a few good beats put together nicely.
That’s not to say that if you are using Epidemic Sound that you won’t find artists of other genres such as country or hip-hop who are offering their music for free, but quality EDM is without a doubt easier to find than any other genre of music.
As always, if you have any questions or just want to hang with me, stop by my Twitch channel here and say what’s up!
Interested In Streaming? Check Out My Recommendations
|Best Equipment (Mics, Cameras, Etc.) – Looking to upgrade your streaming equipment? Check out some of my recommended products here on Amazon. 🎙️📸🎧|
|Best Overlays, Alerts, Etc. – Want to make your stream STAND OUT? Check out the amazing overlays, alerts, and emotes at OWN3D.TV (click to check them out). 🎨😎👽|
|Best Streaming Software – Streamlabs Prime is the streaming software used by most major streamers. It allows you to multi-stream, set up a merch store, and much more. Click here to check them out. 🤖|
|Best Music – Looking for music you can safely play on stream? Epidemic Sound has thousands of DMCA free songs that you can safely play on your streams and Youtube videos. Click here to check them out.🎶🎸🎤|
Playing music on your stream is simple and can be a great tool and to infuse some extra energy into your stream. Just remember that playing copyrighted music on your live stream without permission is illegal and will come with some consequences.
However, using the websites mentioned above you can easily get some headbangers going in your stream for FREE!
Good luck out there streamers!