If you need to find good music for your live stream or YouTube channel, you’ll find this post comparing the best royalty-free music services useful.
In this list, you’ll find music streaming services that offer REAL music with vocals and lyrics for you and your followers to chill out to. They also include a nice variety of genres.
Some of these platforms are free, but most of them will require you to pay a subscription. Also, the free services will require you to give attribution in some way. More details are below.
Why Do You Need DMCA-Free Music for Your Livestreams and Videos?
All the music that you’re used to listening to on Spotify or the radio is copyrighted. You’re able to listen to it because Spotify and the radio station paid the owners for the license that allows them to play their music to others.
These licenses cost a lot of money and have very specific terms that prohibit its usage outside its terms.
For example, Spotify owns the license to stream the music to its users. But it doesn’t allow these users to play the music for others.
That’s why you can’t pay for Spotify and play music on your stream. You paid for the right to listen to it ad-free, but you didn’t pay for the others that are listening with you.
That’s why you’d need a special kind of license (similar to the one Spotify has paid) to play this music for others.
But until the music industry creates some special kind of license for livestreamers and content creators, you’ll have to use music from specific artists that offer this type of license.
Most independent musicians ofter this kind of license, and that’s what you’ll find in these royalty-free music services.
What Kind of Copyright License do You Need to Play Music?
You’ll need either a license that allows for “commercial use”, which is basically the right to use the music for profits (if you play ads on your stream, you’re making a profit).
Or you’ll need a specific kind of license that lets you use it for online content that displays ads. This one is usually cheaper than a commercial-use license, but most musicians don’t offer this type of license.
The first service below is one of the few to offer a license specifically for Twitch streamers, which is a lot cheaper than the commercial use licenses that are offered everywhere else.
1. Pretzel (Free)
Pretzel was created for streamers to play whatever music they want on their stream, while supporting the artists directly.
They have over 480 hours of streamable music from multiple genres.
They offer two types of plans.
The first one is free. With it, you can play any music for free as long as you give attribution to the artist on your chat.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to do it manually. Since it was made with streamers especially in mind, you’ll be able to integrate it with Twitch to automatically give attribution to the artist on your chat.
You’ll just need to mod the PretzelRocks account or allow it to post links in your channel.
Alternatively, you can use the Premium subscription, which only costs $4,99 per month.
You’ll support the musicians directly and chat attribution won’t be required.
Also, their player is very much like Spotify. You can easily leave it there discovering new music from a specific genre for you, or you can create your own playlists for autoplay.
2. NCS Music (Free, Electronic music exclusively)
NCS Music was started to give independent electronic music artists a place to showcase their music while helping content creators that are constantly stalked by copyright claims and strikes.
The nice thing about it is that they have all their royalty-free music on a specific Spotify and YouTube playlists.
You can just play it on Spotify. Click here to check it out.
Or directly on YouTube on their official channel here.
You only need to add the following attribution in your stream description on YouTube or Twitch:
“Music provided by http://spoti.fi/NCS“.
However, bear in mind that they’re showcasing electronic music artists, so you won’t find other genres.
Artlist is one of the largest music libraries out there. Their motto is “New Music Every Day”. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever run out of music with their service.
Their $16.6 per month (billed annually) plan includes all the music in their library for you to use however you please.
They allow you to use the music however you want it, even for commercial use.
You can browse through dozens of collections with music for specific tastes. However, it’s discoverability features aren’t as good as Pretzel’s.
You’ll most likely need to explore the library and add your favorite music to a collection to listen to often.
You can browse their collection for free and try out their service before buying.
If you use our affiliate link below to sign up, you’ll get 2 months for free:
Storyblocks is similar to Artlist, but I find the interface a bit more user friendly and the cost is also cheaper.
Their plan for music for $12.42 per month (billed annually) lets you use their music selection commercially royalty-free.
They have over 2,000 songs with vocals and over 30,000 instrumental songs.
This is a good selection already and there’s always new music coming in.
The downside is that they don’t offer a player as Pretzel or Spotify does.
You’ll have to download all the music and use something like iTunes to organize it in one place if you want to play it automatically during your streams.
Bandcamp is completely different from the other services listed here.
It’s much more community-driven in the sense that you’ll purchase the music directly from the artists listed on their platform.
They have their own pages and they can list their own merch and music in the same place.
And many of them allow you to pay what you want for their music.
However, since this is direct with the artists, you must contact the artist and ask them if it’s okay to use their music during a livestream that displays ads.
This does make it a lot more tedious than the other services that allow you to use their music anywhere.
However, it’s also a nice way of supporting artists directly and getting to know them.
After buying the music, you’ll be able to download it or use their Bandcamp App, which is a player similar to Spotify with all the music ready for play at all times and on any device.
If you’re just looking for music to use as a background for your content, then I wouldn’t recommend getting music with lyrics from the places listed here.
Even though they still offer a good amount of instrumental music, there’s already a good amount of copyright-free music available in YouTube’s audio library here.
Use the libraries listed in this article if you want to do long livestreams and you need something to play in the background to relax or talk to your audience.
That’s the best way to use these libraries. To improve your stream experience and get more people to return soon because they’re having a nice time.
Will has been a full-time content creator since 2014. He’s an audio, video, and tech hobbyist dedicated to reviewing products and giving you the best tips he knows to grow your audience.