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Snapchat announces licensing deals to bring music to Snaps

By | Published on Tuesday 4 August 2020


OK people, you all need to stop with your constant “What we gonna do on TikTok this week?” chatter. And, for that matter, with all your “Fuck, Donald Trump’s gonna ban TikTok, what we gonna do? Where we gonna go? Who knows how Triller works?” chatter.

Actually, can you all just stop chatting entirely for a second? I’m trying to talk here. How rude. Have you shut up yet? Right, good. Here we go. I’ve got things to tell you.

Fans of 2016 label marketing meetings may feel a certain nostalgia for all that “Who here understands the fuck out of Snapchat? How the fuck can we use Snapchat to promote this shitty record?” chatter that pre-dated all the “What we gonna do on TikTok this week?” chatter, and the more recent “Fuck, Donald Trump’s gonna ban TikTok, what we gonna do? Where we gonna go? Who knows how Triller works?” chatter. It was a golden era for music marketing, on that we can all agree.

And, if you are one of those music marketeers nostalgic for the easier times that were 2016, three things. First, the kids are still using Snapchat. I’d really like you all to know that. Actually, it’s Snapchat who’d really like you all to know that. Second, if you ever put actual music in your promotional Snapchat posts in the past, you were almost certainly infringing some copyrights somewhere. And third, not anymore, because the Snapchatters have got themselves some music licences.

Specifically, according to an announcement yesterday, they have deals with Warner, Universal, indie-label repping Merlin and the US National Music Publishers Association. The Warner deal covers both songs and recordings. The Universal deal only currently covers songs. And the Merlin and NMPA deals are template agreements that their respective members can choose to opt into if they so wish.

We knew Snapchat was busy negotiating music licences last year, as it sought to compete with the licensed Instagram and slowly-getting-licences-in-place TikTok. As with its competitors, for Snapchat, getting some music licensing deals done is not just about legitimatising any music being uploaded by its users, it’s also about making it easier for said users to add music to their videos.

With new functionality being piloted in Australia and New Zealand, Snapchat users will basically be able to add soundtracks to their videos within the app itself. The app will then also automatically provide information about the music for any interested recipients of the video, as well as links to the full track on Spotify and Apple Music.

A Snapchat spokesperson says: “We’re constantly building on our relationships within the music industry, and making sure the entire music ecosystem – artists, labels, songwriters, publishers and streaming services – are seeing value in our partnerships”.

So there you go. Shapchat. Still a thing. Now with some music licences. OK, you can now all return to your tedious chatter. I’ll get you started… “Has Trump banned it yet? Has Microsoft bought it yet? Has Microsoft ruined it yet? Quick, get Triller on the phone!” Enjoy.