Twitch Music Rules Guideline

Whether you’re just starting out as a streamer or stream on a consist schedule, music plays a key role for ourselves and our viewers.

We can help create a mood and setting for our audience while listening to what we enjoy. But how does Twitch see music and streaming?

“Twitch values the work of songwriters, musicians, and other creative artists.” Along with this statement, Twitch has a few other concrete words summing up to respecting musical artists. If you don’t feel like reading all the rules, you’ve come to the right place.

What exactly can I play on stream?

When it comes to Twitch rules, the bottom line is that, technically, you should have the rights to whatever music you are streaming.

Purchasing an album or subscribing to a music streaming service like Spotify doesn’t really give you the rights to stream a song. Instead, you have full disclosure to stream privately and listen on your own!

So, what can you listen to while you’re conquering the rift in League of Legends? Here’s what Twitch outlines as acceptable music content:

Music owned by you

If you create your own lo-fi beats and want to share them with the world, streaming and listening to your music is one way to do it. You own all rights to your own intellectual property and can do with it as you please.

Music licensed to you

If you talk to the artist and they approve your use of their music, you can stream listening to someone else’s music. If you manage to get Taylor Swift on your side, you can stream her music.

On a more manageable note, talking to local bands or DJs around your area can be a great way to market yourself and have unique music!

Twitch Plays Performance

If you’re ever looking to do karaoke or sing-along streams, you need to use Twitch’s platform and get the music approved before putting it on stream.

What can’t I play on stream?

There are a lot of things you can listen to outlined by Twitch. Luckily, most of them boil down to the same principle; even if you are covering the music, you aren’t allowed to do it if it isn’t approved by Twitch first.

You also can’t deliberately stream music as the actual stream.

What happens if I break the rules?

If you’ve been streaming with your favorite Spotify playlist playing, you won’t instantly get banned from Twitch.

There are DMCA guidelines that effectively reiterate everything Twitch tells you about music copyright. The DMCA themselves will send notifications and reminders about your stream, usually in the form of muted VODs.

As a smaller streamer who might want to grow and make YouTube videos with streaming content, muted VODs are a bummer.

The algorithm for discovering copyrighted music isn’t advanced enough to do all the work itself. This means that you might not have muted VODs at all.

Still, you shouldn’t ignore musical copyright. Streamers have been banned for 24 hours due to not complying with Twitch’s warnings. Even if it doesn’t affect you now, it will in the future.

So, where do I get music from?

Luckily, there is a wide selection of different places to find free music that won’t get your VODs muted. Check out this article for royalty free music for the full list, but here are a few of the highlights:

Monstercat

A popular EDM and other electronic music focused platform, Monstercat has a YouTube and Twitch channel where you can find music that they release, completely copyright free! If you want monetization while using their music, they have a monthly plan for $14.99.

Pretzel

Another platform with a paid and free option, Pretzel is paving the way for free music with their platform. All they ask is that you attribute their platform on yours!

Wrapping up

Plenty of streamers don’t care about copyright. If you’re large enough, the muted VODs might not matter to you at all. But streaming background music that you aren’t allowed to is technically illegal, albeit difficult to enforce.

With the quick rise in popularity of streaming, its better to find a comfortable alternative platform instead of avoiding the rules!

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