How to Choose Music for Your Twitch Streams?Tastes in music are subjective. Regardless of how many people are enjoying your stream’s music, it will always be viewers who dislike it. Moreover, for a streamer, it’s important to be aware of rules regarding the music choice on streams. The safest way to avoid your streams getting muted and having potential penalties is playing free non-copyright music. But, it is not all that simple. Below are some random opinions of what viewers generally think about streamers listening to music.
Do Viewers Like Streams Accompanied by Music?It is difficult to guess music preferences of all viewers, thus, many streamers provide their broadcasts without any background music. Moreover, a plenty of people work when watching the stream and, for that reason, they need streams without distractions. “I find myself gravitating towards streamers who don't play music. I consider myself to have a pretty wide range of music taste, but streamers, especially the ones that aspire to be larger ones, play a very narrow selection of songs. Things like Final Countdown, Journey, Queen, etc.” Still, it is all about the context of the stream. If the game has an integral sound design, it can be ridiculous to lay other sounds over it. But, if you are playing a multiplayer game where the game music is monotone, then putting on some music can be a good idea. “If you're playing music over a story driven game, I'm probably not sticking around. However, if you're playing something like Terraria, Hearthstone, MMOs, competitive FPS, H1Z1, or anything similar, it's totally cool.” Streamers like having music more as a background sound. It helps fill the silence in game and relax. Sometimes, music makes the stream more exciting, especially in some games that have boring sections. The compromise can be found, if you give your viewers the right to choose the song. “I compensate a lot by having song-requests for people :) This way they can enjoy the songs they pic. Sometimes sucks for me. But it's decent.”
How to Deal with Copyright Issues?According to Twitch rules, you can’t broadcast copyright music while streaming. Twitch has a strict audio censoring system that recognizes illegal use of music. These measures are needed to protect both broadcasters and Twitch brand from any copyright holders’ claims. On Twitch, you also are not allowed to stream:
- Cover versions of your favorite performers, unless they give you necessary rights
- Karaoke or dance parties accompanied by copyright music
- Playing music from radio stations
- Performing your DJ sets, unless you have necessary rights for each of them
What Happen When You Play Copyrighted Music on Stream?If you prefer listening to your favorite groups instead of licensed non-copyright tracks, be ready that your viewers won’t hear them. Twitch automatically mutes sections of archived videos that have copyright audio. In some cases, the muting happens with licensed songs that appear inside the streamed games. In the worst case scenario, the right owner could file a DMCA claim and your channel could be shut down.
Is There Any Solution?Among the options where you can find a legal music for your broadcast are the following:
- The Twitch Music Library was created to provide users with quality selection of songs from “established and burgeoning labels”, such as Mad Decent, Dim Mak, Spinnin Records, OWSLA, and Fools Gold. Of course, you won’t find pop music from Universe Music or Sony BMG in the list, but still there are plenty of good tracks.
- Twitch friendly music streams: Monstercat and Nocopyrightsounds.
- Third-party music streaming services, like Spotify, however, you can only play tracks listed here. To be sure that you are not breaking Twitch or Spotify TOS, you can use SpottyBot. It helps control the music and show which track is playing.
- Websites where you can download non-copyright music for free, such as Incompetech, MachinimaSound, BenSound, AudionautiX and Popskyy. But, be aware that roalty-free music doesn’t always mean free music: some music may cost money, other – require putting a link, etc.
- You can broadcast own original songs. It is also possible to become a Twitch Partner through the music creation.
- If you can’t help listening to your favorite music while streaming, you can give a link saying “listen to my music” and share your playlists on Pandora or Spotify with your viewers. By doing so you allow people who want listening to your music to enjoy it, while not turning off people who dislike it.
- As an alternative, with the help of OBS or similar software, you can choose an individual audio channel and listen to your own music without sharing it with the rest of the world directly.
TakeawaysThere is something special when you are listening to the same song at the same time as your favorite streamer. This helps enhance the engagement effect. However, not playing music directly on the stream also has its benefits. If viewers need something to fill the gap, they can put on their own playlist to accomplish the same thing. Moreover, any archives you create won’t be muted for copyright reasons. In turn, being able to archive your videos without audio disputes can become an additional revenue source.