I'm pretty sure you have already seen that many popular Twitch streamers have been getting DMCA strikes from streams and clips that were years old. I have actually talked with some streamer friends and they didn't know that playing music might result in DMCA strikes.
Playing music in streams has been something that streamers have been doing for years already. So it's perfectly normal to hop into some stream and there are some cool tunes playing on the background that fit the game.
But actually that is not okay from the copyright perspective. Since the artist isn't getting any income of played songs that is not usually okay. Trying to get permission for every song that you play that is playing on the radio. Is a pretty much impossible thing to do also.
Even if you would get permission to play Lady Gaga's latest hits album. The Twitch automatic bot still mutes your VOD:s and you may get penalized. After that, you send Twitch the written permission that you have got from Lady Gaga's manager etc.. etc.. It's a really big hassle right?
Since we don't currently have an option that would allow us streamers to play every song in the world. What can we do?
What usually happens when you play music in your streams?
First, let's cover what might happen to you if Twitch notices you are playing music in your streams (Please note the Twitch bot doesn't make those DMCA notices. They are made by companies/creators straight to Twitch.)
As a streamer, it's really important to be aware of the rules regarding music played on your streams. When Twitch's automatic system notices that you are using copyrighted music your VODs will get muted and you could get penalties by playing copyrighted music. The best bet and safest way to not get your VoDs muted while playing music in your stream. Is to start playing royalty free and no copyright music! Scroll down for a list of choices.
Note: Please note that royalty free music doesn't necessarily mean free music. Some may cost you some money and some places require attribution. Pretty common places to do attribution are links in the bio and bot commands on your stream. Please check the attribution method before usage.Loong.. Loong.. Time ago.. I can still remember when DMCA strikes were not a thiiing.. Sincee they are here for now.. There is something cool that we can usee.. Click To Tweet
Resources for Royalty Free music for streamers style
Spotify Lists for Stream-Friendly Music
YouTube Playlists for Stream-Friendly Music
Services for Stream-Friendly Music
PretzelRocks is a free music app for streamers that have curated hours of stream-friendly music for content creators already! They only play royalty free music that you can listen to and share for your stream audience. Requires attribution via chat and they already have a bot that does the attribution automatically.
Monstercat has a pretty interesting system going on for steamers. You can play their Monstercat Twitch channel on the background for Free. Pro-tip is to change the quality for mobile so the stream doesn't hog resources from your computer. You can also get a Monstercat subscription for $5/Month which allows full monetization for Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube usage.
Epidemicsound has a massive library of music from various genres that you can use for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram Twitch, and podcasts needs. Epidemicsound has a subscription-based system that offers Royalty Free music to use. The cost of the subscription starts at 13$ and you can try out the whole system for Free!
NoCopyrightSounds offers free music with no copyright. You can find NCS music tracks at: SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify. Please note that attribution is required! You can find specific use cases for Twitch and YouTube usage over here.
Incompetech has a huge collection of free music from a variety of genres. Please note that link attribution is required. You can use the music for example: YouTube videos, For streaming on Twitch, Mixer, YouTube, and more. Even in stores! Pretty cool huh? Here is their FAQ with more specific use cases for music.
MachinimaSound offers a variety of genres and artists that you can use for your streams. You can either purchase a license from their latest collections or use the Legacy tracks that are free to use when you credit the artist also.
Generals rules for music usage for streaming websites
The general rules for most streaming websites are: if you do not hold the rights to play copyright music, and you get a DMCA notice from the owner of the music. Your account may be terminated. This is very rare and the chance of this happening is very low but it's good to keep this in mind if you choose to stream copyrighted music that you don't have the right to broadcast.
Twitch: Streaming copyright music will not get your stream taken down but portions of your VOD will be muted. (Please note that multiple DMCA notices can get your stream ended and your Twitch account banned). Sometimes when the volume is low enough it may not get picked up by the audio recognition system but you shouldn't count on this to happen every stream if you don't want to get your VODs muted.
YouTube Gaming: Copyrighted music may mute your livestream or even terminate the broadcast. See here for more information..
Mixer: Streams/VODs are not muted if copyright music is played.