What Music Can I Use on Twitch Understanding Twitch Music Rules and Guidelines

By Fletcher ยท April 01, 2024

In 2020, there was a request by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to take down copyrighted music, which caused Twitch to delete tons of music. The takedown left streamers confused about the kind of music that was allowed. This often led to the question: What music can I use on Twitch? In this article, we will guide you on the music allowed on Twitch and provide you with great places to find royalty-free music. 

Are You Allowed to Play Music on Twitch?

This can be a confusing subject, especially because many streamers usually play music without regard to copyright laws. However, after the DMCA takedown, Twitch clarified that streamers were not allowed to use music they had no rights to. This is why it is essential to understand Twitch streaming rules.

If you are asking, what songs can I play on Twitch, the answer depends on your personal choice? Content creators sometimes take music requests, providing their audience with control over their music.

While this wasn't a problem in the past, the music industry started taking action in 2018. Therefore, before you begin using other people's music for Twitch streaming, it's essential to understand their rules and guidelines. You also need to understand the consequences and the steps you can take to protect yourself.

What are the Twitch Music Rules and Guidelines?

Twitch requires streamers to respect the intellectual rights to music. According to their rules, you can only include music in your stream if you have the copyright to it. If you use music without copyright, this can result in the owner of the music requesting its takedown under the DMCA or any other related laws.

The impact of violating music copyright laws on Twitch can lead to a ban of your account. You should remember that buying music CDs or subscribing to a streaming service doesn't give you the right to use the music. Instead, this only allows you to access the music for personal use.

Categories of Music You Can Use On Twitch

Streamers are allowed to use three music categories. These are:

  • Music Owned by You. This refers to original music that you created yourself or music that you play live. This means that you own the full rights to the music. Before streaming such music, you should check with your record labels to ensure you have the right to use such music.
  • Music Licensed to You. This is music whose copyright is owned by others, but you have obtained a license to use it. If you are using a music streaming service, review the terms of service to confirm you have rights. 
  • Music Provided by Twitch Soundtrack. The soundtrack by Twitch ensures that you do not have to worry about takedowns. However, the downside of this method is that it has a very small tracklist. Not only is this limiting, but it is also only available on Twitch.

The three categories of music above are completely safe to use.

The Impact of Playing Copyrighted Music on Twitch

So, what happens to your channel when you play copyrighted music? Twitch uses a three-step strike to deal with copyrighted music. This means that the first step they take is to bring down the copyrighted music which can affect the quality of your videos as they will have no audio.

Twitch's other level of punishment involves banning your channel for 24 hours. This often happens when the person who owns the copyrighted music files a DMCA countdown request. A good example was in 2018 when Marron 5 and Juice WRLD issued a massive DMCA takedown request that suspended many big channels.

The last form of punishment for copyright infringement is banning your account. This could be a temporary or a complete ban of the account. Remember that DMCA bans are not fully removed from your record. You will be given a 90-day probation period if you are banned for something else. But if it's a DMCA ban, this will remain part of your record forever.

How Not to Use Music on Twitch

Twitch provides guidelines about the music you cannot use on their platforms. These are:

  • Radio-style DJs. This is music from other recording labels that you have no right to.
  • DJ-style music. This refers to different forms of music mixed or remixed together. You aren't allowed to use it unless you have copyright to them.
  • Lip sync performances. Singing, pantomiming, or pretending to sing to certain music that isn't yours, and you aren't licensed to use it on Twitch.
  • Performance of cover songs. This involves performing songs that other people own. When doing so on Twitch, you should perform it the way it is done by the musicians but do all the audio yourself.
  • Visual music depiction. This includes lyrics, tablature, music notations, and other visual elements of copyrighted music.
  • Karaoke performances. You can play music for which you aren't licensed to share on the platform.

From the list of banned music on Twitch, we can conclude that the platform doesn't allow streamers to use music in a way that will benefit them, their businesses, or their brands without the necessary license from the rights holder.

Can You Play Spotify Music on Twitch?

A common trend on Twitch is that streamers use Spotify music on their streams. This is often because they believe that you have the right to use music if you pay for it. However, this is not the case, and many streaming services, such as Spotify don't allow the use of their music. The reason is that the royalty to the music is still owned by the artist or recording label and not the streaming service.

How to Get Music to Play On Twitch

If you don't want to get into copyright problems, here are several sources of music you can use for your Twitch streaming. These are:

Soundtrack by Twitch

We mentioned this earlier, but it is worth repeating. The platform has several playlists and music stations, providing an excellent background for your music.

Public Domains

If music is in the public domain, it is usually free to use and isn't protected by US copyright laws. As of January 2024, 400,000 songs were recorded in the public domain before 1923. This means these were the number of songs available for use without the risk of copyright infringement. Some of these are movie soundtracks.

Some of the sites where you can find public-domain music are:

  • Open music archive
  • Free PD
  • Public domain 
  • Petrucci music library

Creative Commons

Some artists have no problem with making their music available for public use. Such musicians usually allow people to use their music under the Creative Commons Licensing. Anyone can use the music with credit acknowledgement.

Best Sites to Find Royalty-free Music

If you don't want to face the DMCA takedowns and the Twitch strikes we discussed earlier, you should consider using music from one of these sites:

Epidemic Sound

This is a great site that offers royalty-free music with great customer support and reasonable pricing plans. The site partners with professional musicians, creators, artists, and composers to provide high-quality free music. On top of these partnerships, the site has an in-house team of producers, songwriters, and sound engineers that help turn tracks into world-class music.


  • Has over 35k royalty-free songs
  • Over 90k sound effects
  • Has a free 30 days trial period
  • Easy-to-use platforms


  • No videos

The site has an intuitive user design that makes it easy to download songs and use them on stream.


One of the reasons why we rank SoundStripe highly is because they offer very high-quality songs. They carefully choose the kind of music they upload to their platform. The platform also has great filter features, allowing you to find what you want easily.


  • Over 8K songs and 60K sound effects
  • Ability to create a playlist
  • Music uploaded every day
  • Available on a mobile app


  • It doesn't have a lot of genres
  • Smaller music selection compared to others in the niche

Envato Elements

One thing you will love about Envato Elements is that it comes with a wide range of music genres from different artists. The platform has an excellent tool for music filtering, allowing you to choose your preferred music according to genre, mood, instruments, and much more. The platform also has many resources for music creators, such as royalty-free b rolls, images, graphics, and more.


  • A selection of over 500K sound effects and 115k royalty-free music 
  • A 7-day free trial period
  • A lot of creator resources besides music 
  • A trial period of 7 days


  • Doesn't have a playlist option
  • There is no option to subscribe to music only


Artlist works similarly to Envato Elements despite having less video content and music. However, there are still a lot of content creators from whom you can benefit from. Many top companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft use this platform.


  • Has over 18K songs and sound effects
  • A lot of creator resources
  • Several plan options


  • A small selection of songs and sound effects
  • Has no playlist


If you need an affordable music streaming platform, consider Tune Pocket. While they only have a playlist of 10k royalty-free music and no playlists, this is still a number that will meet the needs of most creators. They have some great songs and playlists, allowing you to mark your perfect songs as favorites.


  • No commitment is needed to buy a group of songs
  • Very affordable packages


  • No playlist
  • Doesn't have an option for a monthly subscription
  • Services are very basic

The Best Type of Music to Use on Twitch

The music you can use for Twitch streams is of different types. You are probably streaming gameplay, but you aren't allowed to use copyrighted music, and therefore, you add to the tension by using instrumentals. Alternatively, you could have a several-hour study session to opt for some relaxing beats.

Here are some of the common types of music that streamers use on Twitch:

  • Electronic music. This often consists of instrumentals with simple lyrics. These are excellent choices for increasing tension, enhancing focus, and adding calmness. There is a difference between this type of music and standard pop songs.
  • Hip Hop. Many hip-hop songs have catchy beats and intense lyrics that leave many streamers desiring to dance. The music genre can be a good choice for adding energy to streams.
  • Grunge or punk. This music genre is a good choice for underscoring intense emotions as it is usually heavy on the electric and bass guitar.
  • Idle or Acoustic pop. This consists of new artists playing piano, violin, and acoustic piano, not found in other songs. This can offer your stream a light, melancholic, and relaxed feeling.

Final Thoughts

Since Twitch is becoming a popular streaming channel, especially for marketers, streamers need to understand copyright laws and find the best music for their brands. With the DMCA takedowns and the Twitch strikes, understanding music that will not cause Copyright issues can be helpful. Using the right music can be part of the steps you should take to grow your channel.