It takes a lot of work to play video games for a living. Top streamers must kill ferocious orcs and own the battlefield while keeping up a witty banter and trying to attract more paying subscribers to their channel. The last thing they can afford to spend time on is trying to find the right music for their videos. Yet, music is a key element in creating a great viewing experience for fans. How can gamers find the right music that will help them play better, fit the genre of their chosen game, and keep viewers entertained?
Put on your shades, because the future of gaming is brighter than ever. Like never before, gamers have multiple avenues to rake in huge piles of money just by playing their favorite video games. With the rise of live streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook, top gamers are attracting hordes of fans who are willing to pay real-world money to subscribe to their channels. Gamers are also earning big ad royalties on their streams and on well-edited Let’s Play and Walkthrough videos.
How much money are we talking about? Sources estimate that 2018’s top streamer, Ninja, will take home over $5 million by the end of this year. That’s certainly not pocket change. But how do top streamers like Ninja, Shroud, and Pokimane gain and maintain their popularity? Here are their top three secret weapons:
Loads of Time Playing Video Games
Aside from investing in the right equipment and showcasing legit gaming skills, top gamers are willing to put in nearly endless stream hours. Many live stream four to eight hours a day, even on holidays, and some spend additional time editing and posting pre-recorded videos.
The biggest personalities have also developed an uncanny ability to connect and entertain their viewers while they play. Fans don’t just want to watch a random stranger play League of Legends. They want to hang out with online personalities that have become their friends. Making a solid living as a professional gamer means also being authentic, clever, and never running out of talking points.
Watch Ninja’s live stream for just a short while, and you’ll see a master at work as he interacts with loyal fans, chats about his day, and keeps the conversation going even as his avatar dominates Fortnite.
Many gamers choose to stream outside music while they play or to add music to pre-recorded videos. Music for videos offers viewers another sensory connection to the video and provides additional benefits that help keep fans hooked to a specific channel.
There’s a reason why so many top players add their own music to their videos. Letting the in-game music play in an endless loop over hours of gameplay is Boring with a capital B. Gamers looking to build their audience know that they need a way to stand out, and adding interesting, unique music isa way to snag a viewer’s attention and help distinguish their stream.
Music is powerful. It can express the personality of the game rand/or the central settings and themes of a game. Music also adds another layer of experience for the viewer, which is especially important, because many viewers keep live streaming channels open while they do other things. In many cases, your music selection may be the primary way your viewers experience your channel!
Finally, music is a crucial part of pre-recorded and edited gameplay videos, like Walkthroughs and Let’s Plays. Music adds character to these types of videos and pulls viewers more deeply into the experience. Think about how much sweeter it is to destroy a big boss at the end of a level when you add in some sweeping, soaring ballad music over the fight.
For all these reasons, professional gamers need to care about their music selection. Your music choice will become part of your gamer brand and will help fans distinguish you from all the other gamers trying to grab viewers. So, how exactly do you choose the right music for your video stream?
You know you need music for your video game stream, and you recognize that your music choice plays a not insignificant role in your success as a gamer. That begs the question, what music should you choose?
Here are four important factors to consider:
Becoming a famous video game streamer is all about building your personal brand. Your viewers need to feel a connection to you. Popular gamers like Lirik and Sodapoppin have serious skills but also a strong and interesting personality that attracts their followers. The music you choose can help distinguish and support your personality as well as attract fans who enjoy that same type of music.
A channel that plays jazz music will have a totally different feel than a channel that plays electro pop, so consider what type of music reflects your personality.
A player is defined almost as much by their game as their personality. While some top gamers dip into different games, many become famous within a specific gaming community. For example, Ninja’s popularity blew up when he took a deep dive into Fortnight and Pokimane spends her days in the world of League of Legends. While Sodapoppin does dabble with other games, he is revered for his skills in World of Warcraft.
The specific game you play will attract a certain type of viewer and will call for appropriate supporting music. Fortnight is an adrenaline-fueled game that requires scavenging, building, and fighting off enemy players. Something with a strong beat, like rock music might be a good match for this type of game. On the other hand, World of Warcraft takes players into a fantasy realm. Huge battles ensue, but players can also pursue fascinating quests. Ambient music, with its wide range of sounds, could be a good fit fort his ethereal world.
While live streaming is the most popular video mode for most professional gamers, many also post pre-recorded videos or edit live streams into compilation videos. Both YouTube and Twitch are also filled with heavily viewed Lets Play and Walkthrough videos. Pre-recorded videos require a different musical perspective. Gamers are creating a specific experience for their fans, who expect a more professional look and feel than a live stream can offer.
In these situations, gamers have the time and ability to expertly pair gameplay footage with exactly the right type of music to enhance the on-screen action. For example, a gamer can add soothing, ambient tunes as a character travels around scrounging supplies and then ramp up the music with a powerful orchestral number when the character faces a powerful enemy.
At the end of the day, you’re going to be the one listening to the music you choose to stream for hours on end, so make sure you pick something that you like and not just something you think will impress your fans. Sure, some professional gamers gather a few curious viewers by performing a shtick, but most of the top gamers, like Ninja, Pokimane, and Summit1g get big by being authentic people who love playing their respective games. This authenticity comes through the screen loud and clear, and that’s what brings the fans back.
Find the music that speaks to you and that makes playing video games more enjoyable. The right music will help you play better, relax, and be yourself, which, in turn, will attract more viewers and subscribers.
Ready to start building music playlists for your next streaming marathon or to improve your next pre-recorded video? Before you start grabbing your favorite songs off the radio, it’s important to recognize that you can’t stream just any music. Copyright law prohibits you from using the work of others unless you have permission or pay a royalty.
Additionally, both Twitch and YouTube Gaming will issue unpleasant penalties if you get caught using copyrighted music. (Twitch will mute the sound on any recorded videos that use copyright music, and YouTube could give all of your advertising revenue to the music’s copyright owner.)
Fortunately, you don’t have to start teaching yourself the tambourine in order to record your own music. There are plenty of places that offer royalty free music for your videos. Both Twitch and YouTube provide royalty free music libraries, and you can also find a few royalty free music streaming channels on Spotify.
The downside of these options is that everyone else knows about them too.
Every brand-new gamer and their mother will be crawling all over these free music libraries. If you use the exact same music, you won’t have much of a chance of standing out. Instead, consider forking over a few dollars and subscribing to a stock music site like Soundstripe.
For a small monthly or yearly subscription fee, you’ll gain unlimited access to our music library. We offer a wide range of genres from top quality artists.Filter music by genre, instrumentation, or emotion to find the perfect sound for your personality, video type, or just your mood for the day. Fill up playlists with your favorite songs, so you always have awesome tunes to power your play.
Find all the music for your videos that you’ll ever need at Soundstripe.