The battle between social media platforms and labels wages on. With major and independent labels owning the rights to the majority of popular music today, it can be a challenge for social media platforms to negotiate and agree to licensing deals with labels just to integrate music features into their platform.
Snapchat is the latest platform to see its parent company, Snap Inc., ink a licensing deal with a major label, Warner Music Group, as well as major publishing companies Warner Chappell Publishing and Universal Music Group Publishing regarding music usage for a new feature within the app. The Venice-based company also managed to come to similar terms with 200 partners of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and around 300 members of independent digital rights agency Merlin, of which AWAL, Distrokid, and more independent distributors fall under.
The music-focused feature will now allow Snapchat’s 350+ million users to soundtrack their videos—similar to competitors like TikTok—to songs that fall under any of the aforementioned labels that will be featured on a carousel to encourage artist discovery. Users that receive Snapchats with music in them will be able to swipe up and be directed to the Spotify and Apple Music links for that song. This new feature is currently being preliminarily rolled out in Australia and New Zealand first, but it is expected to be available globally this fall.
Snap Inc. has not revealed the status of their negotiations with the other major labels, Universal Music and Sony Music Group, nor Sony’s publishing arm, Sony ATV Publishing.