How to add copyright free music to your streams

How to Add Copyright-Free Music to Your Streams?

Copyright Live Streaming Sep 3, 2021

Intrigued by how to face copyright concerns for your streams?

Looking for copyright-free music to set the vibe for your videos?

Depending upon your streaming destination platform, the consequences of violating copyrights for background music can range from a penalizing strike to your channel being completely shut down to legal action being taken against you. Worry no more as we’ve got you sorted – here’s your guide to escaping copyright strikes and other penalties for your live video streams.

In this Blog:

  • Why is background music important?
  • What kind of music can you use?
  • How to know if your music is copyrighted?
  • Final takeaway?
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🎶 Why is Background Music Important?

Background music sets the mood for your stream. Is it chilly? Is it poppy and fun?  The background music will set the vibe and tone for your stream. An upbeat pop song can create a buzz of excitement; a slow violin solo can invoke gloominess, and so forth.

Similarly, it will communicate your brand and help attract the desired audience who will resonate with your stream and the music. Conveying professionalism, the background music also elevates your production value. Viewers tend to pay more attention to streams with music since they can assign a particular emotion to the broadcast.

Interestingly, the background music keeps the audience engaged and hooked to the stream, regardless of those awkward pauses during voice-overs or dull breaks between the conversation. Music fills and eases any in-between spaces between the speech, keeping your audience from losing interest and bouncing.

🎵 What Kind of Music Can You Use?

Copyright-Free Music in Live Streams

No, you don’t need to purchase a song or access it through a streaming subscription service to have the right to play it on your streams. While buying a song does give you a license for personal use, it doesn’t, however, give you the right to play it on your streams. So, even after purchasing it, it still might be no copyrighted music, and you might still need permission to play it on your live stream!

So, what kind of music can you use for your streams?

  • Original music
  • Royalty-free music
  • Music under Creative Common Licenses
  • Music in the public domain

🎷 Original Music

This is the music that you created yourself, and so you own it. It’s your original creation, and you’re free to use it as you like. You can create a cover of another song, for instance, or a remix, negotiate with the copyright holder for a license and use it in your streams without worry.

🎷 Royalty-Free Music

Royalty-free background music is by far the best option when it comes to using no copyrighted background music for your streams. Although these royalty-free songs are not that popular, their quality and variety are as good as the others. Envato has curated an incredible Royalty-Free Music Hub which comprises professionally-composed music tracks that come with a license, so you can use mesmerizing copyright-free music with confidence.

🎷 Music under Creative Commons Licenses

If you’ve downloaded the music from a website that offers free royalty-free music, it’s most likely that the music falls under one of the many Creative Commons licenses. You might want to read the section on licenses carefully to get acquainted with any restrictions that you might have when using this music.

🎷 Music in the Public Domain

Music in the public domain is music available for anyone and everyone. You don’t need to pay any royalty to use it. The popular Christmas carol ‘Jingle Bells’ is a perfect example of copyright-free background music in the public domain. Also, if it’s an old piece of music (more than 70 years old), it’s reasonably possible that it’s under the public domain anyway.

Pixabay is a free photo, illustration, video, and music sharing website powered by a generous community of photographers, videographers, illustrators, and musicians.
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©️ How to Know if your Music is Copyrighted?

Streaming videos on social media with background music can be a major headache owing to copyrighted music issues. You don’t want to get your video blocked or monetize someone else’s content, let alone face legal repercussions. So, before you stream on any social media platform with background music, make sure you familiarize yourself with the platform’s guidelines on using music.

⏯️ YouTube

YouTube allows you to upload your videos in hidden or private mode so you can check for any copyright issues before publishing your video. It also runs a thorough check on your streams to determine if you’re using copyrighted music, in which case a placeholder will cover your stream until you fix the problem. If you fail to fix it, your stream will be terminated. So, make sure you use copyright-free music for YouTube.

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⏯️ Facebook Live

Facebook Live only allows playing music that you have a license for. If Facebook feels that you’re playing copyrighted music on your stream, your audio will be muted. If done repeatedly, your videos will be deleted. If Facebook flags your streams with a copyright claim, you’ll have to appeal the claim and demonstrate that you own the right to play the music you’re playing.

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Abide by the Facebook Content Policy to avoid getting flagged. Only share own original content to avoid copyright infringements.

⏯️ Twitch

Twitch allows playing music on your live stream only if:

  • It is your original creation
  • You have the license for it
  • It is from the Twitch Music Library

If your stream contains music that doesn’t follow these rules, your video will be muted. You may also get notice of regulatory violation or copyright claims.

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⏯️ Twitter

Twitter also scans your stream for any copyrighted material, including music. If your video is flagged, your stream will be disrupted but will be available as a replay. You can, however, dispute the claim and present your license to ask Twitter to restore your broadcast.

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🚀 Final Takeaway

With live streams, there are endless opportunities for adding music. The only important point to consider remains to ensure you add music that you have the right to play. You don’t want your stream to shut down due to copyright infringement, do you?


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Saba Mohsin

Saba is the Lead Digital Content Writer at OneStream Live. She is a progressive researcher and an ardent blogger with a keen eye on ground-breaking technologies.