In today’s digital era, DJs are finding innovative ways to reach audiences, and Instagram Live has emerged as a powerful platform for live-streaming DJ sets. However, playing music on Instagram Live comes with its own set of challenges, primarily concerning copyright issues. Whether you’re an experienced DJ or new to the scene, understanding how to avoid copyright on Instagram is crucial to ensure your live performances don’t get interrupted or taken down. In this article, we’ll explore the essentials of DJing on Instagram Live, from the technical setup using tools like OBS to navigating the complexities of using copyrighted music. We’ll also delve into the importance of a strong visual component and how to leverage Instagram’s features like Reels to enhance your live music performances. So, whether you’re an online DJ looking to engage with fans during the pandemic or aiming to broaden your reach to audiences in all corners of the globe, this guide will provide you with the know-how to create memorable live-streaming DJ experiences on Instagram without falling foul of copyright laws.

How to dj on Instagram live without copyright

Understanding Copyright Laws for DJs on Instagram Live

Navigating Copyright Issues Specific to DJs

For DJs looking to livestream on platforms like Instagram Live, understanding the nuances of copyright laws is crucial. Unlike playing in a live venue, streaming on Instagram introduces complexities regarding using copyrighted music. As a DJ, it’s essential to recognize that playing a track live doesn’t inherently grant the right to use it online.

When you play music on Instagram Live, you are broadcasting to a potentially global audience. This act can easily infringe upon the rights of copyright holders. Even brief snippets of copyrighted music can trigger automated systems leading to live streams being interrupted or taken down. Therefore, DJs must be vigilant in ensuring they have the rights to use the tracks they play. This could involve using royalty-free music, securing licenses, or focusing on original compositions.

When I first started live streaming my DJ sets on Instagram during the pandemic, I was unsure about the audience reception. However, to my surprise, the number of viewers and interactions grew rapidly. I found that playing a mix of popular tracks and my own remixes, while actively engaging with viewers in the chat, significantly increased my follower count.

The Impact of the Pandemic on Live DJ Streams

The pandemic has significantly transformed the landscape of live music performances. With traditional venues closed or restricted, many DJs have turned to online live streaming as a way to connect with their audience. Instagram Live has emerged as a popular platform for this, providing a space for DJs to perform and interact with fans in real-time.

However, the shift to live-streaming DJ sets has brought copyright issues into sharper focus. The rise in online performances has led to increased scrutiny from copyright holders and platforms like Instagram. This makes it more important than ever for DJs to be aware of the legalities involved in streaming on Instagram Live. Understanding these laws and adapting to them ensures that your efforts to connect with audiences during the pandemic don’t result in live shows being unexpectedly cut short or facing legal repercussions.

Global live stream viewing time has increased by 14%, with significant growth in Asia (90%) and LATAM (70%). This growth trend is crucial for DJs considering the global reach of platforms like Instagram Live.

Setting Up Your DJ Live Stream on Instagram

Essential Equipment and Software (Including OBS)

To start a DJ live stream on Instagram, having the right equipment and software is key. At the core, you’ll need a DJ controller and DJ mixer, which will be the heart of your performance. For the stream itself, a stable internet connection and a good quality camera are essential. The visual appeal of your stream matters just as much as the audio quality, so consider the visual component of your setup.

One crucial piece of software for streaming on IG Live is OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). OBS is a powerful tool that allows for more advanced live-streaming features. It enables you to mix live video and audio, add effects, and switch between different media sources seamlessly. Learning how to use OBS effectively can significantly enhance the quality of your Instagram live streams.

Step-by-Step Guide to Going Live on Instagram

Once your setup is ready, the next step is to go live. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help you livestream your DJ set on Instagram:

  1. Connect your DJ equipment to your streaming device.
  2. Open OBS and configure it for live streaming. This includes setting up your audio and video sources and ensuring your DJ set is being captured correctly.
  3. In OBS, use the ‘Stream’ feature to connect to Instagram. You’ll need your Instagram stream key and server URL for this.
  4. Once everything is set up in OBS, go to your Instagram account, navigate to your profile, and tap the camera icon at the top left to go live.
  5. Start your DJ set and engage with your audience through the live feed. Remember to monitor your stream’s performance and interact with viewers to create a more engaging experience.

By following these steps, you can set up a professional-grade livestream that allows you to share your music and interact with your audience on Instagram Live.

Set up a professional-grade livestream

How to Legally Play Music on Instagram Live

Avoiding Copyright Infringement in Your DJ Sets

When you’re DJing on Instagram Live, it’s important to ensure that the music you play is legally cleared for use. Avoiding copyright means more than just steering clear of copyrighted content; it involves understanding the complexities of music rights. To play music on Instagram Live without legal issues, consider these tips:

  1. Use Music with Permission: This can be your own music, tracks you’ve created, or music you have explicit permission to use.
  2. Royalty-Free Music: There are plenty of sources for royalty-free tracks that won’t get flagged for copyright infringement.
  3. License Agreements: Some platforms offer licensing agreements for DJs to use music. Ensure you understand the terms and that they apply to live streaming.
  4. Short Clips: While not foolproof, using shorter clips of music can sometimes be less likely to trigger copyright alerts.

I encountered a significant challenge when my live stream was taken down for playing copyrighted music. This experience taught me the importance of understanding and adhering to copyright laws. Since then, I’ve shifted to using royalty-free tracks and music for which I have the rights, which has allowed me to stream without interruptions.

Creative Use of Reels and Live Shows

Instagram’s Reels feature offers a unique opportunity for DJs to showcase their skills while minimizing copyright issues. Reels allow you to create short, engaging videos with music that’s cleared for use on the platform. This can be a great way to tease your DJ live streams or share highlights from your sets.

Additionally, consider turning your DJ sets into more than just a music experience. Engage your audience with behind-the-scenes content, Q&A sessions, or tutorials during your live shows. This not only adds value for your audience but also diversifies your content, reducing the focus on just the music and thereby mitigating some copyright risks.

By combining creative content strategies with an understanding of copyright laws, you can successfully livestream your DJ sets on Instagram Live without legal hurdles.

Successfully livestream your DJ sets on Instagram Live

Tips for Engaging Your Audience During a Live DJ Set

Interactive Features on Instagram Live

Engaging your audience is a crucial aspect of live-streaming your DJ sets. Instagram Live offers various interactive features that can help. Here are some tips to enhance viewer engagement:

  1. Use the Q&A Feature: This allows your viewers to submit questions or comments, making them feel part of the live show.
  2. Respond to Comments Live: Interacting with comments in real-time adds a personal touch and keeps the audience engaged.
  3. Conduct Polls: Polls are a great way to involve your audience in choices like what track to play next.

Building a Following Through Consistent Live Streams

Consistency is key in building an audience. Here are some strategies to grow your following:

  1. Regular Schedule: Try to stream to Instagram at regular intervals. This predictability encourages viewers to tune in regularly.
  2. Promote Your Streams: Use Instagram stories, posts, and other social media platforms to announce upcoming streams.
  3. Collaborate with Other DJs: Collaborations can introduce you to new audiences and add variety to your streams.

By utilizing these tips, you can not only enhance the experience for your current audience but also attract new viewers, turning your Instagram live streams into must-see events.

Advanced Strategies for DJ Live Streams

Using OBS to Enhance Your Instagram Live Streams

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a game-changer for DJs streaming on IG Live. It provides advanced control over the audio and video aspects of your livestream, allowing for a more professional and engaging experience. Here’s how you can use OBS to enhance your live streams:

  1. Multiple Camera Angles: Use OBS to switch between different camera angles, adding a dynamic visual component to your set.
  2. On-Screen Graphics: Add your logo, track names, or other graphics to your stream.
  3. Better Audio Control: OBS offers more nuanced audio settings, crucial for maintaining sound quality in a live music performance.

People spend eight times more time watching live videos compared to on-demand videos, emphasizing the engagement potential of live streams for DJs.

Maintaining sound quality in a live music performance is crucial

How to Stream to Instagram from Various Platforms

Streaming on Insta Live isn’t limited to just your phone. Here are ways to stream your DJ sets from various platforms:

  1. PC or Mac: Use OBS or similar software to stream from your computer, giving you more control over the stream’s technical aspects.
  2. Cross-Platform Streaming: Tools like Restream allow you to broadcast simultaneously to Instagram Live and other platforms like Facebook and Instagram, broadening your reach.
  3. Collaborative Streams: Engage with other DJs or artists by hosting joint live streams, which can be set up through various streaming interfaces.

With these advanced strategies, you can elevate your live-streaming DJ sets on Instagram, making them more professional and appealing to a wider audience.


In the ever-evolving world of music and technology, DJing on Instagram Live has opened new doors for artists to connect with their audience. From understanding and navigating copyright laws to setting up engaging and high-quality live streams using OBS, the journey of a live-streaming DJ on Instagram is filled with opportunities and challenges. Embracing these, along with creative strategies like using Reels and collaborating with other artists, can significantly enhance your live performances and audience engagement.

The impact of the pandemic has undeniably accelerated the shift towards online live streaming, making it a crucial aspect of a DJ’s repertoire. As we move forward, the ability to adapt and innovate will define success in this digital landscape. So, keep experimenting, stay informed, and, most importantly, keep the music playing.

DJing on Instagram Live has opened new doors for artists to connect with their audience

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any music I want in my Instagram Live streams?

While Instagram allows some flexibility with music use, there are limitations. You can’t freely use full-length recorded tracks or someone else’s song without permission. To avoid copyright issues, consider using royalty-free or licensed music, creating your own tracks, or using music provided by Instagram.

How long can I play a song on Instagram Live without facing copyright issues?

There’s a misconception that playing just a few seconds of music is safe. However, even brief snippets can lead to your content being taken down due to copyright. Always ensure you have the right to use any recorded music you’re playing.

Can I use background music from other streaming services on my Instagram Live?

Using music from streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music in your live stream is risky unless you have a license to use their content. These platforms’ licenses typically don’t cover broadcasting music in a live performance.

What happens if my Instagram video is taken down due to copyright?

If your Instagram video gets taken down due to copyright, you’ll typically receive a notification explaining the infringement. Repeated infringements can lead to stricter penalties, including the suspension of your live streaming capabilities.

Are there ways to creatively include music in my Instagram stories and live streams?

Yes, you can creatively include music by using Instagram’s music library for stories and live streams. This feature provides a wide range of tracks that are cleared for use, giving you a chance to enhance your content without worrying about copyright.

Author Bio

Ellen Bartolino

As a seasoned author and communication expert, Ellen specializes in Instagram with a deep understanding of the platform. Her expertise has enabled her to produce captivating and impactful content for both businesses and individuals.

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