Business

Universal Partners With Snap On Recorded Music, Augmented Reality

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Universal Music Group has a new partnership with Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, that will allow users of the popular app to incorporate UMG’s recorded music catalog into their posts on a global basis within the Sounds tool, the companies announced today (June 24). The deal also includes augmented reality elements within Snapchat’s Lens feature with UMG’s artists, which will also include e-commerce and merch elements within the app.

The deal builds on Snap’s music industry partnerships, many of which were solidified last August when the company announced licensing deals with Universal’s publishing wing, as well as with the Warner Music Group, Warner Chappell Music, Concord, Reservoir and a slew of NMPA publishers and Merlin digital rights agencies, among others. This past March, Snap signed a deal with Distrokid to allow artists on the distribution platform to license their music directly to Snapchat as well.

“We’re thrilled to build on our innovative and collaborative relationship with Snap and to provide Snapchat’s users with access to UMG’s vast catalog of the most iconic recordings of all time," Universal’s executive vp of digital strategy Michael Nash said in a statement announcing the deal. "When entertainment and social media companies work together, fans are able to creatively build close-knit communities around the artists and the music they love, all while ensuring that artists are fairly compensated for the use of their music. We’re looking forward to working with Snap to unlock even more innovative features and allow creativity and expressive communication across Snapchat’s community.”

The partnership is also an extension of many of the ways that UMG’s artists have used Snapchat in the past to premiere music, tease new songs and sell merch on the platform, which says it has 280 million daily users and more than 500 million monthly active users of its app. Justin Bieber and benny blanco debuted a snippet of their single "Lonely" through the app’s then-new Sounds tool last October, while Nicki Minaj used the app to launch a merch line for her album Queen in 2018.

Through Snapchat’s Lens tool, BENEE’s song "Supalonely" generated 1 billion views, according to UMG, while Olivia Rodrigo used the AR Lens tech for her smash debut single "drivers license," with users creating some 10 million videos on the platform.

“It's been exciting to see how quickly Snapchatters have taken to our Sounds creative tool, and in turn the immense impact it has had on the music industry as they discover and share music with their friends and the community," Snap senior vp content and partnerships Ben Schwerin said in a statement. "Universal Music Group has been a tremendous partner over the past several years, and we're thrilled to expand our relationship to bring Snapchatters even more music to express themselves and create engaging Snaps."