In December 2021, Twitch had just under 8 million active streamers. In case you don’t know, many gamers choose to stream on Twitch, showcasing their skills and new game content to worldwide audiences.
The platform offers a lot of facilities to make this possible, including the ability to stream music as well as gaming content.
The success of Twitch has helped to form gaming communities, and some streamers have acquired huge followings.
Music is always a point of contention, however, as commercial music is under copyright. With this in mind, let’s look at copyright free music for Twitch, where to get it, and consequences if you pretend the elephant in the room isn’t there!
Music for Twitch
Copyright is an important aspect to be aware of. The idea is that it protects the intellectual property of artists and bands. When music is purchased, it is for private use. When you stream, it is considered public use.
As such, the owner or creator of the music you play on your streams can:
- Ask you for financial compensation for using the music on your live stream.
- Determine who can and who can’t use their music.
- Determine what conditions apply to playing the song on your stream.
It can lead to a nasty surprise if you haven’t the authority to play a song but play it anyway.
What Happens If I Play Copyrighted Music Without Permission?
Past actions for this instance have resulted in streamers having their accounts shut down by Twitch. At the end of the day, Twitch’s management knows that their company is open to litigation from music companies that feel their copyright has been infringed. To avoid costly court cases, Twitch will always come down on the side of the music company, not you, the streamer.
Other actions come directly from the record company itself. This can include:
- Notifications that you are using the music illegally.
- Notice of regulatory violations.
- DMCA copyright claim issued by a band or artist.
This is serious as you may be taken to court and prosecuted.
As a general guide, always use music that is:
- Composed by you.
- Music where you own the license to perform/play it in public.
- Twitch Sings performances.
- Twitch Music Library tracks.
Music that will always be copyrighted includes:
- Radio music programs.
- DJ Sessions.
- Karaoke performances.
- Representation of popular songs.
Where Can I Find Twitch Music I Can Stream Legally?
As mentioned, the Twitch music library is a good place to start. If you’ve never used it before, you could be forgiven for thinking the library is a bit rubbish. This is not the case, as Twitch has cleverly collaborated with independent record labels to provide both quality and quantity in almost any genre you can think of.
There are also paid music services that you can use in your streams. Many of these are quite reasonably priced and are worth checking out.
And let’s not forget the ‘Twitch FM’ station on the Spotify platform. This has over 2500 songs you can use in a stream and continues to expand.
Streaming games is great, but don’t be caught out by copyright.