How to Add Music to a Mixer Stream

Use a music overlay to add life to your Mixer stream

A girl sits at her Macbook with headphones in.

 Unsplash/Steinar Engeland

Video games can be fun and immersive with soundtracks that draw you into their world for an adventure. However, not every game has a soundtrack that blows you away, and you may want to spice up your Mixer broadcast with some music in the background. While this is a bit tricky due to copyright laws, there are ways to do it.

What Music Can I Play on a Stream?

This is an area that can get complicated. Ideally, the only music that you should be playing in the background of a broadcast is music that falls under a creative commons license, because it doesn't infringe on a copyright.

If you play copyrighted music there is a chance you can be suspended, since this violates Mixer's Terms of Service (TOS). You can also be the recipient of a copyright infringement claim since you don't actually own the rights to the new Imagine Dragons album, even if you do love listening to it. This also goes for music on streaming services, like Spotify or Pandora.

Can I Use Spotify for a Music Overlay?

Current music or music on a streaming service like Spotify is copyrighted, and unless you're paying for the rights to use that music it shouldn't be on your stream.

Even if you pay for Spotify, you're only granted a personal license, which does not cover sharing music via broadcast. That's why, when you attempt to play Spotify in the background while streaming on Xbox One your followers will only hear the in-game audio, and not what you are personally jamming out to.

Add Music to Mixer Using a Streaming App

Once you've found music you want to play, it's fairly easy to set up using a streaming app like OBS to broadcast your desktop audio. Both PC and Xbox One users should use this method. This means Xbox One players will need to stream by connecting to Windows 10, or by using a capture card like an Elgato.

The instructions below illustrate how to stream music in OBS, but most streaming applications should use a similar method for adding music to your stream.

  1. Open your streaming app of choice.

    OBS is open on a Macbook.

    If you're new to streaming one service you might try is OBS. It's free and easy to learn how to use.

  2. Select Settings.

    The controls menu of OBS is displayed.

    If you're using OBS this menu is shown at the bottom right of your window.

  3. Enable recording of desktop audio.

    The OBS audio menu is open.
  4. Start the music you want to play during your broadcast.

    Your OBS window should show activity on the audio portion of the Mixer bar when you start music up. This will indicate it can hear — and stream — what you are playing.

  5. Select Start Streaming to begin your broadcast!

Are There Ever Times I Can Play Copyrighted Music on a Stream?

In certain cases, you may be able to play copyrighted music without getting yourself into any trouble. If you receive prior permission from the owner of the music, then you can play it during broadcasts without any issues.

You may also be able to play music under Fair Use laws. However, this is a very complicated legal concept that we can't summarize properly. You can get the details on it from Copyright.gov

What Streaming Apps Can I Use?

There are two streaming apps that we suggest using if you want to add music to your Mixer stream. OBS Studio, or XSplit. Both of these are free to download and use, although some of XSplit's features are hidden behind a paywall.

For more details, you can check out our guide to streaming with OBS Studio or streaming with XSplit. While both of these guides give you details on different streaming platforms, setting up the apps themselves is essentially the same. It's just where the stream is sent that differs.