For several years, the video game industry is growing by leaps and bounds. At the same time, online streams of multimedia content are growing too.
Among the most important platforms that broadcast content about video games are YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming, but the undisputed leader in this sector is still Twitch.
According to the Twitch Tracker portal, this streaming platform has gone from 300,000 unique users per month in 2012 – its first year – to 3.8 million streamers per month in 2020.
During their broadcasts, a large number of these users use background music, either to concentrate on the game or for sharing their favorite music with their followers.
However, in many cases, they use music without any knowledge of the consequences that this innocent act can have.
Normally, the audio tracks that streamers use in their games are usually protected by copyright. This means that the original author of the song has the power to:
- Decide which people will be allowed to use their music
- Determine the conditions that will apply to anyone who uses the song
- Ask for financial compensation that the same author establishes
So…how do famous streamers get songs of all genres and have no problems with their broadcasts? What music can be legally used on Twitch?
Here are the most used options by the most influential streamers.
|EPIDEMIC SOUND||Subscription||From $15 /month|
|ENVATO ELEMENTS||Subscription||From $16,50€ /month|
If you already have your channel or are thinking of creating one, and want to add music to your Twitch streams, read the article to the end. I guarantee that you will solve all your doubts and learn to choose the best music option for your streams.
Restrictions on the use of music on Twitch
The first thing when choosing music for Twitch is to know what music you can use. There have been cases of players who, due to the use of copyrighted music in their streams, besides silencing their broadcasts, have received:
- Third-Party Notifications
- Important Notices of Regulatory Violations
- DMCA copyright claims by a record label or musician
DMCA, stands for ‘Digital Millennium Copyright Act’, it is a law that penalizes any infringement of copyright.
It also penalizes the production and distribution of technologies that prevent compliance with copyright protection measures.
Therefore, in order to share music on this platform, it is necessary to obtain the rights of everything that is reproduced.
Many people mistakenly think that having bought music on CD or mp3 allows them to play it online for their followers. Similarly, there is a tendency to believe that subscriptions to platforms such as Spotify also allows the users to share their music on Twitch.
This purchase or subscription only grants the user a personal license. In other words, you can only access such music content to play it privately.
So, because of all the confusion surrounding this issue, you need to be clear about what music content you can use during your streams.
Musical content YOU CAN use on Twitch
- Music that is your property
- Music for which you are licensed
- Performances at Twitch Sings
- Tracks from the Twitch Music Library
Musical content YOU CAN NOT use on Twitch
- Radio-style music programs
- DJ Session
- Karaoke performance
- Representations of songs
If you want to know more about the Twitch rules, I recommend that you take a look at its guidelines on the use of music in streaming.
Where can I find music for Twitch?
Once you’ve clarified the Twitch music restrictions and defined the music instructions you can use, it’s time to get down to work finding the tracks you will use in your online broadcasts.
You may have come this far looking for free music options for streamers. I can tell you in advance that you will find them throughout the article.
However, there are several problems with free options. One is that they do not offer much variety of styles. All themes revolve around the same musical genres, something that will not allow you to differentiate yourself within the streamer community.
To avoid this, professional streamers use…
Music from specialized websites
Each person is different and likes different music. In the same way, each streamer seeks to give a personal and differential touch to its broadcasts, something that is usually done through music.
With this goal in mind, reputable players using Twitch are beginning to get music from specialized websites such as Epidemic Sound or Envato Elements.
This is the option commonly used by reputable streamers is Epidemic Sound. It is a royalty-free music library with more than 300,000 tracks, which increases weekly. It is also possible to use its music effects without problems when monetizing your streams.
The difference between Epidemic Sound and other similar services is that you don’t have to pay certain royalty for each song but, through your monthly subscription, you will be able to use all the musical themes you want without having to inform them of anything.
Aware of the growing consumption of royalty-free music in streaming, the Epidemic Sound team began to offer this service, which is often much more cost-effective than a standard license.
The platform calls this service ‘Personal Plan‘, implying that it is the perfect method for live content creators and bringing the following benefits to the streamer:
- New songs added every week
- More than 30,000 tracks and 60,000 sound effects
- Download themes to your devices
- There will be no copyright claims or royalty charges.
- In addition to Twitch, music can be used on other social networks such as YouTube, Facebook or Instagram.
- Unsubscribe at any time
Nowadays, they offer two different plans depending on your type of usage:
|Personal||$15 / month|
|Commercial||$49 / month|
As you can see, Epidemic Sound currently offers a free 30-day trial period. You will be able to take advantage of it to see all the facilities offered by this type of service and see if it is really for you.
Envato is possibly one of the most complete services, with the greatest musical variety and the highest sound quality.
One of its most notable ‘pros’ is that, if you purchase its monthly subscription –14.50 € / month-, you will be able to make all the downloads you want without any limitation. In this way, you will be able to test each track in your broadcasts to find out which ones connect most with your audience.
In addition, the good thing about Envato Elements is that, apart from music, it allows you to download many other things that you will be able to take advantage of in your streams, such as designs, images or audio effects. With this subscription you will be able to enjoy, without claims of copyright, the following advantages:
- Access to all tracks
- New songs are added every week
- Unlimited downloads
- Unlimited use in all your channels and social networks
- No copyright or royalty claims
- Completely monetize your videos
- Unsubscribe at any time
There are also other platforms similar to those mentioned above. It is true that they have slightly different price ranges, but they will also be fully valid for using music in your stream.
These are Artlist, with an annual subscription of 199 €, and Audiojungle, which with its standard license -$29- you will get permissions to use a certain song or a group of them.
These are the options that professional Twitch streamers usually use. However, in the beginning, it is possible that they used cheaper options, such as…
Royalty-Free Music Platforms
If you haven’t started with your channel yet or have a few followers, choosing to purchase music for free may be an ideal option for you.
Below are some of the platforms that offer free music that can be used during your live broadcasts.
Soundtrack by Twitch
Twitch has a huge music library that is constantly growing to offer streamers the ability to play music during their broadcasts legally.
It gives you the ability to feature a curated library of fully licensed music within your live streams, but please note that as Soundtrack is built for live streaming, the music featured there is intended for use only in live Twitch broadcasts.
You can access it through Soundtrack by Twitch.
‘Twitch Fm’ in Spotify
Another valid option to get music for your Twitch streams can be Spotify’s ‘Twitch Fm’ station, with over 2500 songs.
There are a large number of playlists with authorized tracks to be used during online games. These themes range from electronic sounds of video games to styles like EDM or breakbeat.
Youtube playlists for Twitch
Due to the copyright problem when live broadcasts are made, several users found a niche to exploit on YouTube.
On this platform, there are dozens of videos with variable duration whose music is focused that you can use in your streams. Simply search for ‘Music for Twitch’ and choose one of the many that appear on the list.
This is a dedicated service, especially for streamers. Firstly, it gives access to a wide musical catalog adapted to the gamer community, signed with the necessary licenses to avoid silenced videos.
Secondly, it offers a music player in real-time that, either through the browser or installing the software on your computer, will allow you to enjoy the music both to you and your audience.
In addition to the above, Pretzel is a free application, something that will come greatly in case you are starting with your channel. However, this platform also offers a premium monthly subscription. It costs $4.99, gives you access to more than 5,000 tracks for use on Twitch and other social networks, and you can cancel it at any time.
Creative Commons music for streams
It is a nonprofit organization that offers royalty-free licenses so that they can be used without legal retaliation. The downside of using Creative Commons music is that most of these songs cannot normally be used for monetized projects.
However, if you are not yet monetizing your broadcasts, you can download some of them for free through the download links.
In addition, other pages where you can download more Creative Commons music are:
Free Music Archive
Free Music Archive is one of the websites with the greatest number of themes and musical genres under Creative Commons licenses. In order to be able to use them in the streamings, the artist of each musical piece must be mentioned with a link.
Incompetech is very similar to Free Music Archive – it is also necessary to mention the producer of the songs. It is highly recommended to read very carefully the conditions of their licenses.
As you can see, the use of music in streaming is a very widespread but little-known aspect. There are still hundreds of users who suffer silences in their streams or important warnings about copyright infringements.
Throughout the article, you have seen, among other things, what you can and can not do with music on Twitch. In addition, I have offered you a great variety of platforms and services, both free and paid.
However, if you want to look more like professional streamers and differentiate yourself from the rest, listen to the recommendations I have given you and help yourself from platforms like Epidemic Sound or Envato Elements. This way, you will have zero problems creating spectacular streams with quality music.
Remember that, as already mentioned in the articles about music for vlogs and what music do youtubers use, the more you take care of all the details, the more likely you are to increase your audience and professionalize your broadcasts by earning money.
To finish this article, you will find below a FAQ with questions raised by our subscribers about the use of music in Twitch.
Frequently Asked Questions