Last Updated July 3, 2021
Overview of Twitch Music Guidelines
What Are the Rules?
The Twitch music rules can be summed up in three basic rules:
- Only play royalty-free music or music that you own the rights to.
- You may only use copyrighted music only if you have it licensed to you from the owner. If you don’t have it, you will need to play music that is royalty-free or get the rights from the proper sources.
- Don’t play song games (such as Just Dance) on stream unless you own the licenses for the songs or you run the risk of your VoDs being muted and copyright strikes. The only exception to this rule is Twitch Sings (until January 2021) due to Twitch securing the licenses from the rights holders for it.
While some of the rules surrounding the music you can play on Twitch streams can be a little confusing, as long as you take steps to play safe music on your channel, you won’t have to worry about any new conditions or changes down the line. It is important to play music that is royalty-free that won’t get you in trouble.
Twitch Safe Music
Live streaming has grown at an unprecedented rate over the last few years, with Twitch being the undisputed leader in the sector. Twitch streamers enhance their videos with the use of sound effects and music, either to create ambience, entertain, or simply share their favourite tunes with their followers. However, in many cases, they do so without any knowledge of whether or not they have permission to use music in the first place.
So, what is the best way to find background music that you can use in Twitch streams? WeвЂ™ll tell you how, along with some need-to-know information on Twitch music rules.
Can you play music on Twitch?
It is safe to play music on Twitch provided that:
- you own the copyright to the music
- the music is public domain or copyright-cleared
- you have a license or permission to use it.В
A common misconception surrounds the вЂњfair useвЂќ policy, where people believe itвЂ™s safe to play short, maybe seconds long, clips of songs. This is not accurate, and will count as a violation, no matter how short the section is. People believe this because short clips often sneak through the detection algorithms and avoid removal, but if reported, short clips face the same consequences.
Can you play copyrighted music on Twitch?
Even if the music was bought legally, from iTunes or Google Music for example, the purchase doesnвЂ™t contain the rights to broadcast the song, or use it in other works. Buying music in this form only covers personal and private listening.
As for covers and remixes, it depends on how much of the original material is in the song. Again, if the cover song is owned by an artist, a license is required. By playing a cover of a song on a live stream you are combining the intellectual property of the artist with your own video on a public platform, so you may need either a mechanical or a synchronization license, depending on the song.
For full information on TwitchвЂ™s music policy, see their Music Guidelines here.
Can you play Spotify on Twitch?
Paying for a Spotify subscription doesnвЂ™t include any kind of license or permission for broadcast, the subscription only covers private use and listening. This means if a Twitch channel plays any music from Spotify (without the owner’s permission), it is at risk of receiving DMCA violation strikes вЂ“ starting with a temporary ban, finishing with a permanent ban after three strikes.В
There are a few different methods to get permission to play songs on a Twitch stream:В
- Contact the artist or management directly, and negotiate a synchronisation license to use their music.В
More than likely the artist will want money for the use. There isnвЂ™t a flat rate for music synchronisation licenses, the artist will charge how much they believe itвЂs worth considering their profile.
Small artists may charge anywhere from $50вЂ“$300, with the biggest names potentially asking for $10k+ per use. Film houses and advertisers have been known to pay upwards from $50k to use popular hit songs.
- Use a music library.В
At Accusonus we have our own music library вЂ“ Music Cellar. This is a FREE collection of licensed music to use fearlessly on Twitch and other platforms. Use these premium tracks in any project at no cost. Music Cellar is curated into genres and moods, making it quick and easy to find the perfect vibe.
Get started by visiting Twitch’s website to download Soundtrack.
After you install and run Soundtrack, open Streamlabs OBS. Soundtrack should automatically connect to Streamlabs OBS once both applications are open. We highly recommend running both programs as an administrator to avoid potential issues.
Now that Soundtrack is installed, you should see the Twitch Soundtrack source. Within Streamlabs OBS, click on the plus sign to add a new source.
You should now see the Twitch Soundtrack source available to add to your scene.
After you add the source, you will see a separate Soundtrack source appear in the audio mixer.
And that’s it. Now the music you play from Soundtrack will appear on your live stream but will be gone from your VODs and clips.
First, make sure that Soundtrack By Twitch is open and playing music. You should see the audio bars moving in the mixer on your Desktop Audio source but not on the Soundtrack VOD Audio source. This is expected.
Your existing desktop audio source should be the only source getting the music from Soundtrack By Twitch.
Now, you can test that other audio is being picked up by the Soundtrack Source. Pause any music from Soundtrack By Twitch if it is playing.
Next, play audio from any other source. This can be a music service, a game, your mic, etc. You should see audio on both the Desktop source and the Soundtrack VOD Audio source.
The most common issue is that other audio is not coming through the soundtrack source. If this is the case, please try restarting your computer and running both Streamlabs OBS and Soundtrack by Twitch in administrator mode.
If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. Remember to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Photo Credit: Jametlene Reskp
How much do Twitch streamers make? The answer is live streaming is more lucrative than you think.
A new report from a former economist for Spotify has highlighted how Twitch benefits the music industry. The report, titled ‘Twitch’s Rockonomics,’ highlights how the platform differs in paying creators first over other music-streaming platforms.
The report cites several concrete examples of artists earning more on Twitch than from music streaming services. Twitch users spend an average of 15.8 hours per week on the platform, outpacing YouTube, TikTok, and Spotify. Twitch also diversifies an artists’ revenue stream by bringing in money from three sources. Those include creator channel subscriptions, user donations (bits), and ads.
That positions Twitch as a ‘user centric’ platform, rather than a pro-rata distribution platform. Pro-rata is the controversial way most music streaming services divvy up their subscription earnings. To put it bluntly, if you receive 1% of all the streams that month, you receive 1% of all money generated that month. That system isn’t always fair and leads to subscriptions subsidizing artists the subscriber never played.
How much do Twitch streamers make?
“To compare creator earnings on Twitch with that of global streaming, the per-stream rate used in the following model is set at $0.003,” the report establishes. That’s one-third of one cent, or three song streams to equal one penny. Twitch income for streamers hovers around $0.15 cents per hour that one fan spends streaming. That means if 1,000 fans spend four hours watching an artist stream, that artist has made close to $600 that night.
“Established channels that have had more time to generate traction can see revenue per hour north of $0.25, with some scaling up to $0.75 cents per hour watched,” the report states. It also highlights the importance of engaging superfans via platforms like Twitch.
Laura Shigihara, a composer for games like Plants vs. Zombies and World of Warcraft, shared some data in the report. According to Shigihara, she has earned roughly $8,000 a month through her Twitch live streams. That’s more than 10 times the $700 a month she earns from other music streaming platforms.
Another example cited in the report is Matt Heafy of the heavy metal band, Trivium. His personal Twitch channel has garnered 220,000 follows since he started live-streaming on the platform in 2018. The report found that the Trivium frontman’s monthly earnings on Twitch is around $10,000 a month. That’s comparable to the $11,000 a month the entire band makes from music streaming and sales services.