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Snapchat Announces a New Music Licensing Agreement with Universal Music Group



Snapchat has established a new deal with Universal Music Group (UMG), which will enable Snap users to add song clips from UMG artists via its in-app Sounds library. In addition, Snapchat’s also looking to add curated playlists within its Sounds options which will make it easier for Snapchatters to find audio content for their Snaps.

Snapchat Sounds

Snapchat first launched Sounds late last year, after a year of negotiations with various music labels. Sounds enables users to add music to their Snaps, pre or post-capture, from a curated catalog of music.

At launch, Snapchat offered audio clips from Warner and Sony artists, and now, it will also add Universal’s roster into that mix. UMG artists include Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and 50 Cent, among many others.

The option, in some ways, comes in response to the rising popularity of TikTok, which is heavily centered around music and sounds, which fuel many of its in-app trends. As a result, all apps have been making music a bigger focus. YouTube recently reported that it paid out over $4 billion to the music industry over the last year, while Facebook announced an expansion of its partnership with Spotify, which will enable users to share and listen to full-length music tracks direct on Facebook.

And clearly, music can play a big role in boosting on-platform engagement. The majority of the most viewed videos on YouTube are music video clips, and as noted, with TikTok now fueling all new music trends, the app is even influencing how musicians name, and create tracks, as a means to maximize exposure. 

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As such, it makes sense to see more platforms increasing their focus on this element.

In addition to this, and as reported by Next Reality, the UMG deal will also see more UMG artist-related AR Lenses appearing in the app’s carousel as part of its broader promotional efforts. Snap creators will also be able to use UMG tracks in Lenses, via Lens Studio.

Snapchat also notes that it’s looking to expand its curated ‘Playlists’ inside Sounds to help users find the right track to fit, more effortlessly. 

As explained by Snapchat:


Playlists will focus on genres, moods and moments that are relevant to our community, as well as songs that are trending on Snapchat.”

Snapchat already has a few categories available in Sounds including “Mood,” “New Artists,” and “Love,” which it will now look to build upon to maximize music usage. 

Will that make music a bigger consideration in Snaps? It’s hard to say, but along with the popularity of its own TikTok-esque ‘Spotlight’ option, it could see Snap better align with key usage trends, which could have expanded engagement benefits.

You can read the full description of the updates from Snapchat newsroom here.


New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat’s Coming ‘Family Center’ Will Work



New Screenshots Highlight How Snapchat's Coming 'Family Center' Will Work

Snapchat’s parental control options look close to launch, with new screenshots based on back-end code showing how Snap’s coming ‘Family Center’ will look in the app.

As you can see in these images, shared by app intelligence company Watchful (via TechCrunch), the Family Center will enable parents to see who their child is engaging with in the app, along with who they’ve added, who they’re following, etc.

That could provide a new level of assurance for parents – though it could also be problematic for Snap, which has become a key resource for more private, intimate connection, with its anti-public posting ethos, and disappearing messages, helping to cement its place as an alternative to other social apps.

That’s really how Snap has embedded its niche. While other apps are about broadcasting your life to the wider world, Snap is about connecting with a small group of friends, where you can share your more private, secret thoughts, without concern of them living on forever, and coming back to bite you at a later stage.

That also, of course, means that more questionable, dangerous communications are happening in the app. Various reports have investigated how Snap is used for sending lewd messages, and arranging hook-ups, while drug dealers reportedly now use Snap to organize meet-ups and sales.

Which, of course, is why parents will be keen to get more insight into such, but I can’t imagine Snap users will be so welcoming of an intrusive tool in this respect.

But if parents know that it exists, they may have to, and that could be problematic for Snap. Teen users will need to accept their parents’ invitation to enable Family Center monitoring, but you can see how this could become an issue for many younger users in the app.


Still, the protective benefits may well be worth it, with random hook-ups and other engagements posing significant risks. And with kids as young as 13 able to create a Snapchat account, there are many vulnerable youngsters engaging in the app.

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But it could reduce Snap’s appeal, as more parents become aware of the tool.

Snapchat hasn’t provided any further insight into the new Family Center, or when it will be released, but it looks close to launch based on these images.  

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