Heard the news about the DMCA scare that is ravaging the Live Streaming world? Well, fear not, because there are many copyright free music resources for Twitch & YouTube creators that have been made to solve this issue. While you may not be able to listen to your favorite bands while streaming, these music resources are loaded with fairly good tracks. A large majority of these resources are in the synthwave genre, but there are also some hard rock, rap, hip-hop, and a variety of other genres mixed in there.
As to why copyright-free music is necessary to use, well that is because the license you buy when you purchase music does not include the rights to broadcast the music to an audience. This particular license was something that, until recently, was reserved for radio stations, and tended to be prohibitively expensive. Fun fact – That is why radio stations air ads in between songs – they gotta pay the bills somehow.
Incidentally, this is also why you hear the radio stations play a lot of the same stuff over and over – It isn’t that they don’t want to listen to something new, it was that they simply couldn’t afford the licenses to do so.
As for the repercussions of streaming music – that ranges from a VOD mute to a full-on DMCA strike. Like baseball, it is “Three strikes and you’re out!” so it is a really big deal, especially considering those strikes are permanent at this time.
The VOD mute was Twitch’s way of protecting themselves from legal action, but it was not enough to satisfy RIAA, and they have been as such, slammed with DMCA takedown notices en masse.
Oh, and by the way, this protection does not extend to you.
Many streamers used to simply ignore this, and “deal with the mute” because VODs didn’t hold much value to them. However, the fact is, by using music you do not have the right to use, you are breaking the law. Those who chose to walk this fine line, found themselves severed from Twitch, even big partners.
Table of Contents
Why you should utilize stream-safe music on Twitch & YouTube
Do yourself a favor, and use Stream Safe music or No music at all.
Streaming music or content that you do not own the right to is asking for legal action. Who is to say the artist or interested party happens to stumble upon your clip using their state-of-the-art screening technology? If they see that you use their content, they are in their right to drop the hammer of law on you.
It Is Illegal to Stream Music on Twitch That You Don’t Own Explicit Permission to Use
The first, and biggest point I’m going to present to why you should be using pretzel and/or StreamBeats; It is illegal to stream music on Twitch that you do not own the copyright or permission to. You need express permission from the copyright holders, and that gets expensive, Fast. As you are making money in the form of bits and donations; You fall under commercial webcaster status. This is partly what makes big-budget movie productions so darned expensive.
This is where pretzel comes into play; All the music on this platform has been cleared by the artist or copyright holders as broadcast safe. This means you are legally allowed to use any of these songs on your stream or YouTube content without worry of DMCA or copyright claims or strikes.
Oh, and if you are a music artist, you make a 70% cut from plays.
Using Copyrighted Music Punishes Your Audience
This muting of your recorded streams also punishes any potential new viewers who discovered you by a VOD of a past stream; Or a regular who wanted to catch the rest of your stream when they had to leave earlier than expected. I personally had to do this when I was watching one of our favorite streamers play through Kingdom Hearts 3. Because the game itself had copyright music (Disney’s “Frozen” world), extremely long portions of that audio and his reactions were lost.
The result: A muted video, and poor viewer experience. I actually had to catch a separate stream of it to fill that void of lost dialogue. You don’t want this, because they may find someone else they enjoy watching more.
In that example, even using pretzel or StreamBeats would not fix the issue. After all, the music is coming from within the game itself. You would need to manually mute the game source when these copyright-protected tracks appear. I highly recommend enabling subtitles in the games that you stream for this reason.
Copyright Free Music Resources
|Playlist||Price?||License to use||Available for YouTube||Available for Twitch||Local Download Available|
|StreamBeats – Harris Heller||100% Free||EULA||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Backingtrack.gg – EposVox||100% Free||Currently being drafted||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pretzel Rocks||Free and|
Premium Subscription –
|Terms & Conditions||Yes||Yes||Downloadable application|
|Stream Radio MG||100% Free||Official Master Use License||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Wintergatan||Free with option to Donate||License||Yes||Yes||Yes|
So what can you do? Well, as briefly mentioned, you can use resources that are “Public domain” as well as those that are cleared as being “Stream Safe” by the artist and label (if applicable).
The movement was kicked off by “Pretzel Rocks”, the original provider for stream safe music playlists. Now, others are joining the bandwagon.
Pretzel Rocks – The Original Stream Safe Music Resource
As stated in the beginning and mentioned throughout the article, Pretzel rocks were the first big effort to bring stream-safe music to Streamers on Twitch, YouTube, and many other platforms. Originally, the article was written to just promote that, but since then, many other artists have joined the fray.
Artists like “Miracle of Sound” make an appearance on there, and there are several genres available to stream. It even comes with some Twitch Integration, which states the name and artist of the song to your chat. This is required in the “free version” of Pretzel Rocks, as they have a sort of license similar to the “CC BY” license. Free to use, if you give attribution. I use that license myself for the Free Sound effects & Alerts for Streamers that I made.
At any rate, If you’d like to see what this services offers, you can check them out and decide if this will be your next set of tracks for streaming on twitch!
Regarding Glimesh – Pretzel Rocks is not Safe Yet
If you are streaming on the Glimesh platform, please be advised that you can not currently use Pretzel Rocks on that platform. This is due to the fact that the platform has no way of hooking up to the chatbot that is used to credit artists. Once this issue is resolved, Glimesh will be safe, but until then, use one of these other resources.
Streambeats – A Super Popular Stream Safe Music Resource
Next up on the list is the wildly popular “StreamBeats” created by Harris Heller. Not only that, but it is a growing list of lo-fi beat tracks to be used in YouTube & Streaming services. In fact, he is constantly adding new albums.
You can learn all about it on the Streambeats website!
Backingtrack.gg – 80’s Metal-themed Music For Streamers
EposVox has been getting into the music for streamers’ business as well, and he has been telling people about this new album of 80s heavy metal music. This is a genre that has, for the most part, been unaddressed. Backing Track is filled with head-banging beats that are also ambient in nature – meaning that they are able to fit a lot of streaming situations well.
They are also, in my opinion, pretty good!
Wintergatan’s Music Is 100% Safe to Use on YouTube and Twitch
Martin Molin, the man behind the Marble Machine, recently released a video stating that all of the Wintergatan music is now free to use on YouTube and live streaming platforms. Their music is pretty awesome, and I rather enjoy their MMX building videos. I highly recommend watching the build journey!
You can check this out over on Wintergatan.net.
Stream Radio: Stream Safe and YouTube Safe Music
I was recently contacted by a man by the name of Mike, who is the founder of Stream Radio. In his email, he assured me that the music he was linking to was DMCA Free for use on Twitch and YouTube specifically.
With that being said, I dug a little bit deeper into their agreement for myself: Specifically their Usage Policy.
I highly suggest reading the Master Use License, but from my understanding, it is perfectly safe for use as stream music. As to how good the tracks are? Been listening to them for the last hour, and I’ve added a few to my normal listening shuffle playlist on Spotify.
Tyler Lyle has just cleared all of his music as being Stream Safe
It seems that “Stream Safe music” is becoming a trend, actually. Tyler Lyle recently tweeted that all of his music is considered stream safe. So if you are looking for some Country style music, this might be a good option for you. So go on and stream it for your audience!
I hadn’t heard of Tyler until EposVox had tweeted about it earlier, so thanks to him for pointing it out! I can say that I enjoyed his work and can recommend them for your stream music needs.
More Stream-Safe Music: Andrew Griffin – Lost & Found
Another resource for Stream Safe Music has appeared! Now you have even more Chill LoFi beats to accompany you in your journey as a live streaming content creator! No Strings, No Worries, No Problem! DMCA Strikes are a thing of the past!
You can read the original post on r/Twitch here about it, Or navigate directly to Andrew’s Distrokid to get a nice sample of each track. I enjoyed listening to these 10 new tracks, and am excited to see what Andrew comes up with next!
JorDat also declared their work to be Stream safe and content creation friendly
A Tweet by JorDat, another musician, has declared that their content is stream-safe and free to use. More options to choose from is always beneficial, as everyone has different tastes in music! It is nice to see people hopping in on this.
Other Music sources: OpenGameArt
Here is another; Just be sure to look into the specific licenses involving the music.
Let us know if your music is cleared for use by streamers!
If you are a musical artist, I want to know if it’s cool to stream your musical creations! Feel free to contact me at any time to inform me about your work so we can let streamers know!
Here Are Some Popular Choices for Streamer Gear
Hey, thanks for reading the article! So I’ve compiled this small resource for you guys in case you may be on the lookout for some handy or helpful things to add to your streaming setup. Some of you may be new to streaming, and may not know about this stuff, so I wanted to bring this stuff to your attention.
There are a large number of cool products designed to make the lives of streamers and content creators easier or to improve the quality of their setup. Before I do list them though, I strongly recommend that you do your research and check reviews from multiple sources, even beyond those I’ve included here. It is never bad to get a second, third, or even fourth opinion before you make an investment.
Microphones: One of the most popular microphones for live streaming is the Elgato Wave 3 or Wave 1. This microphone is great for streamers because it gives you a ton of control over your audio chain, mimicking some of the features of the venerable GoXLR virtually, without all the wires and complexity.
Here are some reviews that you can reference so you can decide whether or not you’d like to get one for yourself:
Audio Interfaces: For those of you who’d like to not be limited to a single microphone option, then you’re in luck because Elgato now makes the Wave XLR Audio Interface. This device allows you to use any XLR microphone, including the ever-popular, but gain hungry SM7B without a cloud lifter, and retain the features of the Wave microphones mentioned above.
Here are some reviews of this audio interface:
Green Screens: A green screen is a common tool used by content creators to give them unparalleled control over their backgrounds for content. Many opt to use a green screen to remove their background entirely and overlay themselves onto the gameplay itself. As for What green screen I recommend, well, you’ll have to read my article about green screens, because it does a better job of explaining it than what I can fit here.
Lights: Lighting is super important if you care about the quality of your camera feed from your webcam or any camera for that matter. For one, those of you who rely on your monitor for your main source of light will have inconsistent lighting that changes based on what your screen is displaying. The best part is that almost any light will do, as any light is better than no light.
With that said, there are better lights that are designed for production purposes that have better color accuracy, are brighter, and have more control. You can check out some of them in my top 5 lights article. also, having a dim light in your background on a camera scene will look better.