No matter the sort of content you produce for Twitch, adding background music to the intro, outro or throughout your stream can help make your content more engaging and fun for your viewers. But we get it; you don’t want to get a pesky DMCA strike on your account, so how do you add music to Twitch streams that is DMCA free?
We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the tricky world of music licensing and copyright bretches to ensure you don’t get caught out. As the biggest streaming platform in the gaming sphere, Twitch is the go-to place for anyone wanting to make a career out of streaming.
What music are you allowed to play on Twitch?
You can only play copyrighted music on Twitch that you have permission to use; however, this doesn’t have to be restrictive in any way. You still have plenty of options that will allow you to play music without breaking the Twitch music rules, including the following:
- Music licensed by you: You will need to acquire the proper license to use chart-topping music in your streams. Up until now, this has been notoriously difficult for an individual to do this due to the complexity and cost involved in acquiring one. However, this is where Lickd can help you. We can easily provide you licensed music for Twitch from over 1 million tracks of Billboard 100 artists, which you can safely use on your stream for an affordable cost. Across a variety of social media platforms, though, we have the biggest music catalog for creators that you can use so you can make any video stand out in the crowd.
- Music streamed from Soundtrack by Twitch: Twitch introduced their own audio library of royalty-free music once they started cracking down on copyright infringements. This royalty-free music library gives you access to many artists and genres to use as background music or sound effects if you’re in a hurry to get your content out there. However, most content creators and streamers find the limited library is not what they are looking for if they want to grow their channel and viewers.
- Music owned by you: For the few of you who have a recording career alongside Twitch, you may have some original music of your own. In this case, the music that you have written, created, recorded, or performed live that you own all the rights to shouldn’t be a problem to use in your streams.
What music are you not allowed to play on Twitch?
There are several audio and music formats you can’t use on Twitch at all, no matter the circumstances. These include:
- Radio-style music broadcast: You can’t turn your channel into a radio station that purely streams music because you aren’t likely to have the required licenses for all of the music being played. Also, music in streams should be used in the background to accompany your content, not focus on capitalizing on the music itself.
- DJ Sets: You can technically mix music live on stream if you own the piece outright or have the license for every track. However, sampling a track you don’t have a license for into the set is not allowed.
- Karaoke or lip-syncing performance: You can’t lip-sync, sing or pretend to sing along to music you don’t own the license for. However, if you are performing karaoke as part of a game, like SingStar, you can do so.
- Cover songs: If you are performing a cover song in a live stream, you must ensure that all parts of the performance are your own original work, with no sampling or incorporating instrumental tracks from the original piece, as you will need a license for this. Lickd does not provide licenses for covered work, so it may be best to steer clear of this altogether.
By playing music in any of the above formats on your Twitch stream would fall under copyright infringement, and you’d run the risk of a DMCA strike on your twitch stream. Make sure you understand twitch’s music policy before getting started on streaming music on Twitch.
How to add licensed chart music to your Twitch stream
Now you know what music you can and can’t stream on Twitch, you’re probably wondering how to go about adding licensed music to your Twitch stream. With a wide variety of stock music for Twitch to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice which tracks you add to your next stream!
Soundtrack by Twitch
As mentioned above, Twitch introduced their own audio library once they started cracking down on copyright infringements. Streamers and content creators alike find the music choices are pretty limited, and you won’t find any trending tracks from famous artists you love. However, all the music on Soundtrack has already been rights-cleared, so it can easily integrate with your existing streaming software in a hurry if you need it.
Playing music on a live stream is made much easier with industry-leading streaming software such as OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS. These free pieces of software will help take your live streams to the next level through music, on-screen pop-ups, monetization options and chat moderating tools. Below we have outlined how to add the Soundtrack plugin to your Twitch streams through configuration with OBS Studio. Note that if you are using Streamlabs OBS, the Soundtrack plugin is set up automatically, so you won’t have to do the configuration below.
- Download and instal the Soundtrack Plugin.
- Open OBS Studio, and in the ‘Sources’ box, select the ‘+’ symbol.
- A source called ‘VOD Audio for Soundtrack by Twitch’ will appear in the pop-up panel, automatically ready for use.
- To configure the software with OBS Studio, navigate the “Audio Mixer” box and click on the gear icon. You will find this next to the ‘VOD Audio for Soundtrack by Twitch’ source.
- From the drop-down list, click on ‘Advanced Audio Properties’.
- A new menu will appear with the different sources currently available to you. Next to the ‘VOD Audio for Soundtrack by Twitch’ source, uncheck all of the ‘Tracks’ boxes apart from the ‘Track 6’ box. The other sources should have all one to six Track boxes checked, though.
- Save and close the window, and you should be good to go!
Licensed music by Lickd
If you did want to have popular chart music in your streams, you could use Lickd to get your hands on trending music from artists you love. With a music catalog of over 1 Million tracks, we’re sure you’ll find something for every type of content you create.
All you have to do is search for a song you want, add it to your basket, and checkout (make sure to read the license agreement!). Now you can add the track to your Twitch stream without any worries!
Most of our licenses allow you to upload your video to any online video platform; simply use the platform filters during your song search to filter by Twitch available tracks specifically. We always recommend you include the licensing information in the stream’s description. This helps us clear any copyright a lot quicker. In the unlikely event you do get a copyright claim; you can use your license agreement from Lickd as proof that you’re using the music legally.
FAQs for adding music to your Twitch stream
Can I play Spotify on my Twitch stream?
Definitely not Spotify music is only licensed for personal use, so streaming your favorite playlists in the background is not allowed.
Will Twitch ban my account if I use music in my streams?
Twitch won’t outright ban your account if you use music in your streams, but they will issue you a takedown notice for every time your content breaks DMCA guidelines. Your content will also automatically be muted or deleted if it includes copyrighted material.
So, what about Lickd?
Lickd is different. We make sure our music creators are fairly compensated while still keeping fees affordable for you. We’ve gathered over 1 Million tracks from real artists, with real fanbases, and popular music, all pre-negotiated and ready for you to use in your next video. Royalty and claims-free. Sign up today to get 25% off and never worry about copyright again!