The recent wave of DMCA takedowns shows that live services will continue to act against the copyright infringements on their platform. Protecting musicians’ intellectual property is important, and it is essential creators do what they can to prevent potential copyright violations.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits anyone from sharing copyrighted material, including music, without permission. Doing so on a live stream can get you in trouble. You may be subject to a takedown notice from music rights holders, platforms may mute your VODs, and at the very worst, multiple violations may lead to a permanent suspension of your account. Read on to learn about options for sourcing music that won’t put your channel at risk.
- What is DMCA: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) prohibits anyone from sharing copyrighted material, including music, without permission. Live streaming on Twitch using copyrighted music can put your content and channel at risk.
- DMCA-Safe Music with Streamlabs: Streamlabs Music (powered by Songtradr), Pretzel, and Slip.stream are three apps built directly into Streamlabs Desktop that offer DMCA-safe music while supporting the musicians who’ve created it.
- Other Music Sources for Twitch Streamers: Soundtrack by Twitch (sunsetting July 17, 2023), Epidemic Sound, Artist, and Soundcloud are other options (some paid, some free) for Twitch streamers looking for music to use in their live streams without penalty.
DMCA-Safe Music Services in Streamlabs Desktop
Streaming DMCA-safe music is vital. Without those rights, streamers put their livelihoods at risk. Creators should be able to monetize their channels and videos without fear that they will be demonetized or taken down. We believe in helping all creators turn their passion into a business, including the musicians, artists, singers, and songwriters creating music for you to listen to. That is why we’ve partnered with Songtradr, Pretzel, and Slip.stream, three companies with solutions for you to stream DMCA-safe music while supporting the musicians that create it.
The Streamlabs Music app is the easiest way to play DMCA-safe music on stream.
Streamlabs Music is a free music player that works with your Streamlabs Desktop software. Powered by Songtradr, you can choose from a variety of playlists to fit your stream.
- Curated mood, genre, and game-specific playlists
- Built into Streamlabs Desktop for ease of use
- All tracks are safe to use for streaming across Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, etc.
- Hundreds of tracks with more being added regularly.
Pretzel with Streamlabs Ultra
The Pretzel Rocks Music Player gives live streamers over 300,000 stream-safe tracks.
- Curated Mood and Genre Stations
- Filter music by explicit or if it has vocals
- Use YouTube Safe to make sure the music is safe for YouTube
- Accept bits for Song Requests that respect your filters (Twitch only)
- Don’t like a song? Give it a thumbs down it, and it will never play again
- Like a song? Thumbs it up, then check out your own Liked Station.
Additional tracks and the ability to create playlists are available with a Pretzel Rocks Premium subscription.
Slip.stream with Streamlabs Ultra
The Slip.stream music player offers a wide range of music that you can safely stream. With an upgraded subscription, Slip.stream also provides rights to use their music in your VODs.
- 50,000+ tracks
- 50,000+ Sound FX
- 119 Genres and 231 Subgenres
- Curated Vibes and Long Playing Radios
- Filter by Mood, Genre, Subgenre, Vocals, Length
- Sort by Date Added, Best Result, Length
- Create your own Playlists and Projects
- Stream free
Other Music Sources for Twitch Streams
Soundtrack by Twitch
Update: Soundtrack by Twitch is being shut down July 17, 2023.
Twitch launched Soundtrack by Twitch in 2020 as a rights-cleared music tool for Twitch streamers. Soundtrack allows creators to play licensed music on their live streams without fear of DMCA strikes and offers a wide range of artists and playlists curated to match your streaming style.
While the tool is simple to use, it does come with some downsides. The music Twitch provides is only approved for live streams, and you cannot use them in VODs. To get around this, you have two options:
- Disable VODs on Twitch: We don’t recommend this option as it means viewers can’t enjoy your past streams that they may have missed or want to revisit.
- Setup Soundtrack as a source in Streamlabs Desktop or OBS: Twitch has made it easy to exclude Soundtrack audio from VODs for Streamlabs Desktop and OBS users by offering a plugin that allows you to add Soundtrack as a source which is then automatically excluded from VODs.
While these workarounds allow you to use Soundtrack, the downsides will be that you won’t have music in your VODs, and VOD viewers won’t get the same experience as live stream viewers. If you multistream, the music in Soundtrack is also only approved for use on Twitch and won’t keep your streams and VODs on other platforms, like YouTube, safe.
One of the most popular streaming music services, Epidemic Sound, offers subscriptions starting at $15/month for personal use and features:
- 35,000 tracks
- 90,000 sound effects
- Coverage for your channels on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and podcasts
Starting at $9.99/month for personal use, Artlist features royalty-free music and sound effects you can use on all of your social channels that you can sort by genre, mood, video theme, or instrument.
Soundcloud creators offer a range of royalty-free music selections by artists who make their tracks available for use. Different tracks will have different rules, so be sure to check each song before playing it on your stream.
Don’t get DMCA’d. Playing copyrighted music without permission does more harm than good and limits your ability to monetize your content.
For more information about Twitch rules for playing music, please read Twitch’s community guidelines. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. Remember to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.