Can I stream copyrighted music on Twitch?

Music for Twitch: Legal & Free

It can be tempting to turn on Spotify on the stream and let your favorite playlist play in the background. But is that even allowed? And what other options are there to be on the safe side and not risk a warning? I dealt with this topic for my stream and put together everything I need to know about it.

Spotify

Many don't seem to know or don't want to admit it: Streaming music from Spotify is prohibited. First of all, it fundamentally violates the Spotify Terms of Use, specifically point 9.1:

Copying, redistributing, reproducing, "ripping", recording, transmitting, publicly performing or exhibiting, broadcasting or making available to the public the Spotify Services or the content or parts thereof or any other use of the Spotify services or the content provided under the is not expressly permitted by the agreements or under applicable statutory provisions or otherwise infringes intellectual property rights (e.g. copyrights) in relation to the Spotify Services or the content or any part thereof;

https://www.spotify.com/de/legal/end-user-agreement/#s9
As of March 2, 2019

In addition, most of the titles are copyrighted works, which is why unlawful use of them violates copyright law.

Even if there are few known cases of problems with streaming Spotify content, it is still illegal in the end. Correspondingly, action can be taken at any time. If you don't want to take this risk, you should rely on specially designed providers.

Epidemic Sound: Best selection and premium quality

If you are looking for high quality music produced in the best quality, you should definitely take a look at Epidemic Sound *. There artists offer their music for free use. The service is not free, but it also offers the best quality and countless artists. You can download individual songs or use the player on the website directly to play an entire playlist. This gives you the greatest flexibility, as you can download the music and use it freely.

In contrast to Twitch Soundtrack, Epidemic Sound offers a release for various platforms. Accordingly, you can also use the music from your streams on other platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and Facebook and are always on the safe side.

Twitch Soundtrack (Beta)

Reader “UrielGangrel” noted in the comments that when using Twitch Soundtrack, the recordings are sometimes muted anyway and problems can arise when using the Twitch Soundtrack at the latest. If you want to make sure that you can use the music for your streams, later videos and other uses, I recommend using Epidemic Sound.

After the Twitch Music Library was discontinued and there was a lot of trouble about DMCA strikes some time ago, Twitch has now introduced its own service for rights-free music. Twitch Soundtrack is currently available in the beta version and is a good free alternative. The selection of music didn't convince me as much as that of Epidemic Sound, but it is also free. I'm also sure that a lot of new music will be added in the future and that this will likely make Twitch Soundtrack a good alternative.

Pretzel Rocks: Less choice and quality, but free

Pretzel Rocks is a good solution for those who are only looking for a little background sound and who do not value high quality music. The service offers music in the form of radio stations. You are therefore more restricted in the selection and order of the music, but you can also use it free of charge. The radio stations are divided into the following genres:

  • Mixed
  • skirt
  • Happy
  • Hip hop
  • Synthwave
  • Hype
  • Ambient
  • Upbeat
  • Chill
  • Chiptune

You can also put together your own playlists from the Pretzel Rocks music catalog. If you plan to upload a video of your stream to YouTube later, you can activate “YouTube Safe mode” in the settings. This only plays titles that can also be used on YouTube. You can find this option in the advanced settings “All Settings” and there under “Playback”.

With the free version of Pretzel you have to leave the in-house bot in your chat, which informs the viewer about the title and artist of the same for each new song. Furthermore, you can only play the music in 192 instead of 320 kbit / s. If you don't want to do both, the premium membership has cost $ 4.99 since the beginning of 2019. Before that, it was a proud $ 12.99 per month for monthly payments and $ 119.99 per year for annual payments. The free version is completely sufficient, since Twitch only allows a maximum audio bitrate of 160 kbit / s anyway and the fact that the bot reports with every new song brings at least some activity to the chat.

Twitch Music Library

To counteract the use of copyrighted music, Twitch had launched its own service: The Twitch Music Library. This was a catalog of royalty-free music that you could use in your streams for free.

However, the service has not been available since the end of 2018. Users also report on Reddit that videos of previous broadcasts in which the music was used are suddenly muted. That's why I asked Twitch and am currently waiting for an answer.

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  1. By the way, I recently noticed that when using Twitch Soundtrack, the recording is sometimes muted due to copyrights, which I find not really good for later post-processing or for use on other platforms