Hello there, music seekers. Welcome to Streamer’s Haven, your home for all things streaming! In this article, we will be covering two very good stream safe music groups to be used without fear of DMCA or VOD muting. Safely use Music on Twitch with Pretzel and StreamBeats!
If you’ve ever gone back to watch your past broadcasts on Twitch, You may have noticed that large portions of your stream have been muted. This is what is known as a “VOD mute”. This happens because twitch has an automated process to mute potentially unsafe music(AKA, Copyright-protected music) from your vods to protect themselves from legal action.
This protection does not extend to you.
Many streamers simply ignore this, and “deal with the mute” because VODs don’t hold much value to them. However, we believe this is a mistake for a number of reasons, which we will go into detail later about.
Suffice it to say, Streaming music or content that you do not own the rights to is asking for legal action. Who is to say the artist or interested party cough, label companies cough happens to stumble upon your clip using their content without permission or rights, a year later? If they see that you make money with their content, they are in their right to drop the hammer of law on you.
Do yourself a favor, and use Stream Safe music, or No music at all.
Why you should utilize stream-safe music on Twitch, Mixer & YouTube
Basically, your breaking the law, and that’s a big no-no. And NO it is not considered fair-use. That argument is used a lot, but rarely does it actually hold up in court.
On YouTube content, you have the added “benefit” of the almighty copyright claim, and strike. And uh, As they say, three strikes and yer out! Your account is shuttered.
On that point, there is a lot of work being done on the back end to help protect creators, which you can learn a little sneak peek from in this video by MatPat on YouTube.
That said, if you use content you don’t own, there is always a chance of getting the hammer of justice dropped on your channel’s soul.
Or something like that….
Anyways back to the topic at hand:
It is illegal to stream music on Twitch, Mixer and upload content on YouTube that you do not own the copyright claim to.
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. We personally had to do this when we were watching one of our favorite streamers play through Kingdom Hearts 3. Because the game itself had copyright music (The Disney’s “Frozen” world), extremely long portions of that audio and his reactions were lost.
The result: A muted video, and poor viewer experience. We 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. However, if you are streaming and the music is coming from YouTube or Spotify, You can, and should do something about it.
The demographic for viewers who watch back your previous streams on twitch is definitely small; But not small enough to dismiss entirely.
It is against Spotify EULA to stream music it hosts on any platform.
Spotify’s EULA states that the use of music from their program is prohibited for broadcasting, even if they have the correct license.
It seems pretty cut and dry to us.
YouTube is currently in the middle of a massive copyright claim controversy
Update: This seems to be much less of an issue as of 02/04/2020. There was some info about it noted in this video.
Every day, thousands of videos are added to YouTube. A lot of these videos are experiencing a massive wave of automated copyright claims and strikes; hurting the income of many creators on the platform who unknowingly use copyrighted content which can outright destroy channels who receive the strikes.
You see videos uploaded of demonetization claims by several users, how it affected their channels, and the hoops they have to jump through to even get in contact to dispute the claims. A lot of these have to do with music or sound clips used within their content; something you have the ability to curate and protect yourself from with sufficient research.
The problem is, this research is pretty difficult to pull the facts in about, requiring hours to pick through and sift through misinformation and legal mumbo jumbo.
Simply use pretzel to avoid the hassle
At the end of the day, you want to be able to provide engaging content for your viewers. Depending on the type of content you create, music may not be necessary for your content at all. Some viewers may actually prefer no music, and will leave your channel if it has it; they prefer listening to their own music with your commentary, or are working and watching.
So left with that revelation, the choices are obvious:
- Content with music using Pretzel and keep your vods untouched
- Content with no music and give your viewers the freedom to listen to their own music, or listen without music at all.
Using music on twitch, mixer, or YouTube is a great way to improve the production value of your content; however, using music can have significant drawbacks and risks. It is up to you to weigh those risks and determine if you should or should not use music on your content.
Alternatively, Harris Heller has created something called “StreamBeats”
We’ve mentioned this a few times, but now’s the time to tell you about it. StreamBeats is a 6.5hr long collection of LoFI music that is Stream safe & YouTube Video approved!
You can learn all about it in his post on Twitter about it. Our favorite track in it is “Blue River Temple”.
And finally, #MayTheFourthBeWithYou, always. (original post date on May 4th.)