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PSA: Safely use music on Twitch, Mixer or YouTube

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Hours of Twitch, Mixer, YouTube and Facebook safe music, don't get DMCAed

Tired of having your vods muted to the point of complete worthlessness? Start streaming broadcast safe music on Twitch, Mixer or YouTube with Pretzel!

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 because twitch has an automated process to mute unsafe music from your vods to protect themselves from legal action. This protection does not extend to you.

You are not safe from DMCA with twitch muting your VODS

In addition, having your vods muted is actually detrimental to your channel. If you wanted to get clips to upload on YouTube for example; Unless you record locally as the channel is live, you lose the audio for huge portions of your stream.

This results in less usable content for your YouTube channel and makes it harder to provide good material for your viewers. In fact, we simply recommend not to use music at all when streaming. However, we know most of you will simply ignore that advice, because let’s face it; We’re human, and we all enjoy music.

The second option I mentioned is actually the best practice for YouTube for a number of reasons.

Why you should stream broadcast safe music on Twitch, Mixer & YouTube

1: 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; 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.

2: Using copyrighted music punishes your viewers

This muting of your recorded streams also punishes any potential viewers 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 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.

3: 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.

4: 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

Music on twitch is like a concert

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.

And finally, #MayTheFourthBeWithYou, always. (original post date on May 4th.)

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