How to Play Music on Your Livestream Without Getting Banned

How to Play Music on Your Livestream Without Getting Banned

Machine learning has helped solve many of our biggest tech-related problems, and now it can help you find and create auto-generating, royalty-free music to play on your videos and livestreams so you won’t get hit with a copyright violation.

Mubert is a royalty-free music streaming service available on the web, iOS, and Android that uses crowd-sourcing and machine learning to auto-generate “an infinite soundtrack” you can use for your videos, podcasts, or even just as background music to help you focus or chill out. Auto-generated music might sound like an odd idea at first, but it has one main benefit: it can help you avoid the aforementioned copyright claims from record labels, the DCMA, and other big companies.

Copyright claims and strikes are serious concerns for content creators. If a copyrighted song happens to play in the background of a video or during a live stream and the algorithm notices, the user’s content could be demonetised or removed, and their accounts could be banned or their channels deleted. It doesn’t need to just be background music, either; copyrighted music, video footage, or even gameplay clips can be claimed by companies, even if the content creator is using the infringing content in ways covered by fair use laws.

Copyright claims are now especially common on Twitch and YouTube, forcing users to find royalty-free or open-source music to play in the background of their videos. There are many “stream-safe” playlists on apps like Spotify, and lots of places to find royalty-free music, but these tunes can still get claimed — Twitch’s own Soundtrack by Twitch service has even seen copyright issues.

However, Mubert circumvents many of these concerns, since the music and ambient sounds it produces aren’t owned by anyone and are, theoretically, one-of-a-kind compositions. And the music is actually pretty good, too. I’ll admit I was sceptical of the idea at first, but the “auto-generation” effect isn’t that noticeable, and the results never sound too artificial. Granted, it won’t move you like an intentionally composed piece of music might, but that’s not the point of the app in the first place.

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

Mubert offers free and paid services. “Mubert for Streamers” is a free web radio page that includes a selection of various musical genres and moods, and all music is DMCA-friendly. Everything from lo-fi hip hop, trap beats, techno and piano music is available for free, though you can unlock a wider selection by subscribing for $US5 ($7) a month. (Premium stations include indie rock, jazz, electronica, and classical.)

There’s also a “Mubert for Business” package that includes even more music, as well as ambient soundscapes like forests, ocean waves, and more. The free Mubert business stations are limited, but you can unlock the full service for $US10 ($14) a month or $US100 ($136) a year.

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse Screenshot: Brendan Hesse

There are other supporting services, including a studio app that lets you create and upload your own songs simply by selecting the genre, mood, and length, as well as a library of user-made tracks. You can try the studio app here, but note that free tracks will play a “Made with Mubert” watermark every few seconds. To remove the watermark, you can pay $US10 ($14) for each track used in non-branded content (unlimited downloads are available for $US35 ($47) per month or $US350 ($474) per year). That should work for most content makers who post to personal YouTube channels or social media, but using them for branded content will cost as much as $US250 ($339) per track.

Mubert’s premium services are admittedly pretty pricey, especially when there are many other sources for free, open-source music out there — music composed entirely by professional human musicians, no less — but it’s a novel idea, and one worth considering.

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