Update: Pretzel Rocks reached out to Webaround to confirm that they have uploaded both NCS and StreamBeats to their service.
Earlier this week, thousands of high-profile Twitch streamers were hit with DMCA claims on their content. Individuals like Jakenbakelive, Yassuo, and TFUE are seeing claims go against clips that go back as early as 2017. This is resulting in creators of all sizes having to go through each clip and delete those with copyrighted music in them. Years of memories and milestones gone in the blink of an eye. If they don’t do this, they could face a copyright strike on their account. Twitch will ban your account permanently after three strikes. Now to be fair, Twitch has always had rules when it comes to copyrighted music. In fact, on their legal page, they say:
“We ask that creators only share content for which they have the necessary rights. It is a violation of our policies to stream or upload content containing copyrighted music unless you have the appropriate rights or authority to share such music on Twitch.”
In the past, Twitch would mute 30 minutes of a VOD if they found copyright music within the broadcast. This was after the streamer had finished streaming, so they could use it during the actual live broadcast. However, DMCA claims are going against clips of VODs, which is a bigger issue. Any individual can clip during a broadcast, so streamers are left wondering which of their clips AND their community’s clips are going to potentially bring a strike. There are talks now that DMCA companies will be able to take down streamers that are live if copyright content is found being played.
The easiest way to avoid any issues with this is to simply not use copyrighted music. That is the difficult part though because many places want you to pay royalties or to license out the music for your content. However, there are a couple of great services that allow you to use their music, for free, in your streams. We are going to look at three of them that you can start using now to keep the vibes high when you are live, without risking a strike to your account.
Pretzel is one of the coolest music providers for livestream and video content right now. They built their software with creators in mind. All of their music is DMCA-safe and fully licensed so you can use them on your monetized streams and VODs. Some of the cooler features of Pretzel include:
- What’s Playing Chat-Bot that announces the song
- Variety of genres that include hip hop, metal, dubstep, etc.
- Constantly updated with new music so it never gets stale
- Ability to write song information to a local file so you can add the track information to an overlay
To get started, all you need to do is sign up for a free account and download the desktop application. If you use their free tier, you are required to have their chat bot integrated into your stream. This ensures attribution to the artist. If you choose to support them at the $5/month tier, you support the artists, are able to drop the chat attribution, and get access to their Premium Discord.
Pretzel is fantastic because it takes the confusion and stress of music copyright and let’s you focus on your broadcast. If you don’t mind a bot announcing the song playing during the stream, Pretzel is the best solution available right now.
If you don’t want to worry about chat attribution or downloading software, then all you need is Spotify, YouTube, or Apple Music for our next option. StreamBeats is a curation of copyright free music and beats that you can use in your streams. The music was curated and created by Harris Heller, aka AlphaGaming. He is a stream coach and has created hundreds of YouTube videos to help you become a better streamer.
Harris’ whole focus was to have music that wouldn’t get copyright struck or muted on Twitch. While more on the lo-fi beat side, these are great if you just want some chill music in the background. This is especially helpful if you use stream clips and highlights from Twitch and upload them to YouTube. Harris has worked with Twitch and YouTube to ensure you can use them with no issues. Check it out if you want to just add some nice vibes to the channel.
NoCopyrightSounds is a copyright free / stream safe record label that provides thousands of tracks for creators to use. They work directly with the artists to ensure that their music can be used safely. The best part about NoCopyrightSounds is that they have been around for years and the content shows. If you are a YouTuber as well, you’ll find NCS particularly helpful because you can download each track to use in videos or stream their content from the playlist of the genre you choose.
The one thing that many people forget about NCS is that they require full attribution in both YouTube videos and Twitch streams to be able to use their music. However, their Usage Policy spells out exactly how to do it on both platforms, so you won’t have to worry about jumping through difficult hoops to add some good music to your content.
If you are a creator on both YouTube and Twitch, NCS might be the place for you. It’s catalog of popular and catchy songs will give your content the feel you want with no stress of DMCA takedowns in your future.
While Twitch may be starting to crack down on copyright use, you can still protect yourself. Using DMCA-safe music like Pretzel, NCS, and StreamBeats is the safest way to use music on stream. If you have any additional music services that are offering DMCA free use, let us know in the comments down below! We would love to add them to the list! As always, keep on creating and GLHF!