Twitch music rules can be difficult to understand considering that until recently Twitch was not restricting using any music (including copyrighted music) in streams and VOD.
With the recent music policy update, the creators must be very careful about what music they use on Twitch.
Hi, I’m Mik, a music creator, and in this post I will review Twitch’s music policy rules and will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about using music in Twitch streams and VODs.
Are you allowed to play music on Twitch?
Generally speaking, yes, using music in Twitch videos and streams is a great way to keep your audience entertained and engaged.
But the question you want to be asking is rather this: Can you play copyrighted music on Twitch?
The best answer to this question is: Not anymore.
Originally Twitch music policy was extremely lax and allowed virtually any background music, including copyrighted.
This free ride ended when Twitch partnered with the company called Audible Magic that scans Twitch streams and VOD clips and flags copyrighted content.
If you use copyrighted music in any content you post or stream on Twitch it will be detected and flagged.
what happens if you play copyrighted music on twitch without permission or license?
Here’s what Twitch music policy says:
“if there is copyrighted material in the content shared on your channel and you have not received explicit permission to use that material from the rights holder, you are at risk of receiving a DMCA takedown notification”.
More specifically these things may happen:
1. Your audio will be muted
If Twitch (with help of Audible Magic technology) detects copyrighted audio in your content, it will automatically mute that portion of the VOD. As you can imagine, this will create awkward gaps in videos with no dialogue.
2. Your channel will be banned for 24 hours
If copyright owner issues a DMCA takedown request against your channel, you will be banned for 24 hours. Record labels representing top 40 artists are well known for sending mass DMCA takedowns notices.
3. You will be permanently banned from Twitch
Twitch has a three strike policy for DMCA takedowns. When you get 3 takedowns you will be permanently banned from Twitch. This will be the end of your Twitch career.
If you ignore Twitch music policy, your stream or VOD can get muted and you risk getting a permanent ban on your channel.
So, how can you play music on Twitch legally?
Twitch music policy rules (Do’s and Don’ts)
Below I’ll share some practical tips how to avoid getting in trouble for playing music on Twitch.
Things to avoid:
The rule of thumb is:
Do not play any copyrighted music unless you have explicit permission or license to use it.
Note that even if you purchased music (on a CD or MP3) or if you are subscribed to a music streaming service, none of these typically grant you the rights to stream that music on Twitch or to broadcast it to large audiences.
Furthermore, Twitch recommends avoiding all of the below:
1. Do not create a radio style streams or VOD which focus on playing music unless you have the rights or license to play that music.
2. Do not stream Karaoke performances.
3. Do not do lip-sync performance.
4. Do not make lyrics, music notation, and similar videos for any music that you did not create or have license to use.
5. Don’t do cover songs unless you perform it live (and it means you do perform all the parts).
Inforgaphic: 5 examples of streams that violate Twitch music policy
what music you can play on Twitch
By this point you should believe me that Twitch is quite serious about copyright. That means, you can NOT use any copyrighted music unless you have the permission or license to use it.
To comply with Twitch music policy rules, you only can play the music when:
1. You own all the rights. For instance, you composed and recorded your own song.
2. The music doesn’t need permission in the first place. Public domain and creative commons music (with some restrictions) fall under this category.
3. You have explicit permission (or license) to play the music.
Related: Best Royalty Free Music For Twitch
Advantages of licensing music at TunePocket
See all available membership plans.
Frequently asked questions about Twitch rules on music
Does twitch allow copyrighted music?
Many streamers want to know if they can use background music while streaming. Yes, as long as you have the license or permission to use that music.
How Twitch detects copyrighted music in your content?
Twitch partnered with the company called Audible Magic to scan the streams and VOD clips for copyrighted content.
What happens if Twitch finds copyrighted music in my stream or VOD?
Your VOD audio will be muted or you can get a DMCA takedown notice (typically not a good thing, since someone is taking action specifically against you).
Do muted VODs penalize my Twitch channel?
Muted VODs are not DMCA takedown notices, so technically they do not negatively impact your channel. However, they will certainly degrade your audience experience, which will result in lower engagement and will prevent your channel from growing.
I do have permission to use that music! How to appeal muted audio on Twitch?
If you have a license to use the music you can submit an appeal. Follow this steps:
1. Click on the dropdown menu of video that was muted (it will have red muted speaker icon).
2. Find the audio track you want to appeal.
3. Choose the reason for the appeal from the list. If you have the license choose “I have permission from all applicable rights holders to use the audio and distribute it on Twitch as part of my video.”
4. Confirm the selected audio, reason for appeal, provide your full name, and submit.
You cannot appeal on the grounds that you purchased the music (CD, MP3, streaming service) or if you simply credited the artist.
Source: How to appeal flagged content.
Can you get banned for playing copyrighted music on twitch?
Yes, Twitch will terminate your account if you get multiple DMCA takedown requests.
I hope this was helpful! To summarize:
1. You can’t play copyrighted music on Twitch unless you have permission or license to use it.
2. If you play music without a license, your VOD will get muted or you risk getting DMCA takedowns and losing your channel.
3. License music and get unlimited access to thousands of royalty free music tracks, loops, and sound effects with full copyright support.
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