How to Play Music on Twitch

Capture your computer audio or use OBS with a music site

What to Know

  • Play music on YouTube, Spotify, etc, and it will play on your Twitch stream if you broadcast your desktop audio. 
  • If you use a streaming app like OBS and don’t broadcast your desktop audio, add Spotify, etc as a source.

This article explains how to play music on Twitch, including what music is safe and what music will face copyright issues (and get you into trouble).

How Do I Play Music on My Twitch Stream?

There are a lot of ways to play background music on a Twitch stream. If your stream is configured to broadcast the same audio output you hear through your headphones, then you can just load up a YouTube video or a music player like Spotify, play a song, and it will play on your stream. If you’re streaming from a console, then you can do the same thing by launching an app like Spotify on the console, playing a song, and then returning to your game.

If you use broadcasting software like OBS, you can also an app like Spotify as a source and then adding that to your OBS scene. This works a lot like adding a game to OBS, but you can overlay your game with a Spotify mini-player if you like.

Here's how to add Spotify to your Twitch stream in OBS:

  1. Click the + in the Sources section of OBS.

    The + highlighted in the Sources section of OBS
  2. Click Window Capture.

    Window Capture highlighted in OBS source selection
  3. Change the name of the window to Spotify, or something else you will remember, and click OK.

    Name added and OK highlighted in OBS source selection

    If you don't want the Spotify window to be visible on your stream, deselect the make source visible box.

  4. Click the Window source selection box, and select Spotify.exe.

    Window: and Spotify.exe highlighted in OBS source selection

    If you don't see Spotify as an option, make sure the Spotify app is running on your computer.

  5. Click and drag the red outline to resize the Spotify window.

    Resizing the Spotify app in OBS
  6. Press and hold Alt, then click and drag the Spotify window outline to crop it.

    Cropping the Spotify window in OBS.
  7. When you've cropped the Spotify window to your liking, click your mouse to release it.

    A cropped Spotify window in OBS.
  8. Click and drag the Spotify window anywhere you like on the screen, and you're ready to go.

    A cropped Spotify window showing the current song in OBS.

    The window was cropped to show only the currently playing song in this example, but you can crop to show the controls as well, the current playlist, or any other part of the Spotify window.

Can You Play Spotify While Streaming on Twitch?

You can play Spotify while streaming on Twitch, but you have to be careful about which songs you play. The same is true for Apple Music, YouTube Music, other streaming services, and even songs you’ve bought from places like iTunes. While you can play music from all of those sources on Twitch, you can’t legally play music you don’t have the permission to.

Paying a subscription to Spotify, or buying a song on iTunes, doesn’t grant you the rights to stream that music either, and you can get in trouble with Twitch if you stream the wrong thing.

Can You Play Copyrighted Music on Twitch?

You can only play copyrighted music on Twitch if you own the copyright, if you’ve paid for the rights to stream the music, or if the copyright owner has given explicit streaming permission either to streamers in general or you in particular.

If you play copyrighted music on Twitch you don’t have the rights to, you will run afoul of both Twitch’s terms of service and copyright law. That means you could face repercussions from Twitch, and you could also be open to legal action by the copyright owner.

Before you play copyrighted music on Twitch, make absolutely certain that you have permission from the copyright holder.

Can You Get Banned From Twitch for Playing Music?

You can get banned from Twitch if you play copyrighted music and you get caught. Twitch can change their terms of service at any time, but they will typically issue a few warnings followed by a permanent ban from the service. There is no procedure for erasing old warnings either, so if you’ve already received several warnings years ago, you could be banned immediately if you streamed copyrighted music today.

What Music Can You Stream on Twitch?

You can stream music you personally own the rights to, music in the public domain, and music that has been made available for streaming by the copyright holders. It can be difficult for a streamer to determine exactly what’s okay and what isn’t, but there are a lot of sources that have done that work for you.

Here are some good places to get music to stream on Twitch:

  • Twitch. Soundtrack, formerly the Twitch Music Library, is a source directly from Twitch that provides access to a bunch of music that you can stream without worrying about copyright strikes.
  • Royalty-free libraries. You can pay to use royalty-free libraries like Envato Elements and Epidemic Sound. These libraries were traditionally for video producers, but they have subscriptions that are aimed at streamers. 
  • Plugins and apps. Apps and plugins like Pretzel and Soundstripe make it easy to add royalty-free music to your streams. Some of these are free or have a free tier, but you typically have to pay a monthly fee.
  • Twitch playlists. Services like YouTube and Spotify have playlists full of music that’s safe to play on Twitch. Just search Twitch FM on Spotify or Music for Twitch on YouTube. These aren’t as safe as the other methods though, so make sure to check for copyrighted content before you start playing one of these playlists.
  • How do I play music in the Twitch app on an Xbox?

    Because of the risk of copyright issues, the Twitch app for consoles like the Xbox and PlayStation don't include the ability to play music built in. You may be able to do a workaround with a splitter that lets you directly input an audio device through your controller, but it's easier to either play music so your mic picks it up or set up an input in OBS as above. Regardless of how you do it, you still shouldn't use copyrighted music.

  • How do you get a license to play copyrighted music on Twitch?

    You'll need to contact the copyright holder to buy a license to play their music on your stream, and you have no guarantee that they'll even grant that license. It's easier, cheaper, and safer to play copyright-free music on your stream.

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