Facebook Gaming looks to give content creators music options for streams

Play that song.

Image via Facebook

Facebook Gaming streamers don’t need to worry about whether they’ll get slapped with a DMCA for playing copyrighted music in the background of their stream, the platform announced today.

In a blog post, Facebook Gaming said it’s worked out deals with numerous music labels, including Universal, Warner, Sony, Kobalt, and BMG, among others. While details of those agreements are confidential, Facebook is boasting that most popular music across a plethora of genres will be usable. 

To start, the platform is going to hook up Facebook Gaming partners with the feature. But it expects to give “Level Up” creators, the lower tier streamers, access soon. 

Facebook’s move toward getting gamers access to licensed music comes shortly after many streamers, primarily from Twitch, were given DMCA notices for playing background music on their streams earlier this summer. 

Since the issue arose, causing mass panic from online content creators, many streamers have avoided playing any sort of music or potentially copyrighted material. Some even deleted large catalogs of their old streams to avoid any legal action.

Facebook doesn’t have many details regarding how its agreements work, but it appears as though the emphasis of its deals is that music should be in the “background.”

One of the primary arguments against DMCA notices being dished out is that, for a lot of streamers, music is just a peripheral element to gaming and personality-driven content. 

“Your stream should be about gaming, not music,” Facebook said. “In other words, you’re okay to stream music as long as it’s in the background, with game sound effects and your voice (and anything else) over the top. Playing DJ without gaming is a no-no.”

There are some songs that aren’t covered by the agreements the platform has worked out, according to Facebook’s post. There is not yet a list of songs that will be available, but because of the confidential terms of Facebook’s agreements, it can’t give creators any sort of “blacklist” of songs.

Though Twitch has not yet come forward with any solution to combat DMCA issues the way Facebook is discussing, evidence suggests that it’s on the forefront of the platform’s priority list. Earlier this summer, Twitch posted a job listing on its website in search of an executive with 10 years of experience or more to be a “principal music partnership and licensing manager.”