Snap, Universal Music Group Ink Global Licensing Deal Covering Sound Clips, AR Lenses

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Universal Music Group and Snap announced a multiyear global agreement that will let Snapchat’s users incorporate UMG’s catalog of recorded music and content into creative tools, including Sounds on Snapchat and augmented reality Lenses.

Under the terms of the deal, UMG’s entire recorded music catalog is available on a global basis in Snapchat’s Sounds tool, including search and curated playlists. UMG also is developing augmented reality music Snapchat Lenses featuring the company’s artists that will be regularly available in Snap’s Lens Carousel and Lens Studio, with the opportunity to feature merchandise launches and e-commerce experiences.

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The companies have previously partnered on individual new releases for artists — but now Snapchatters will get access to the entire UMG portfolio.

Snap launched Sounds on Snapchat last October, which lets users add song clips to Snaps and Stories. Since then, users have created 521 million videos with Sounds, resulting and 31 billion views. Snap’s other music partners for Sounds include Warner Music Group, Sony Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell, Kobalt, BMG, Merlin members, NMPA members and DistroKid.

In a statement, the Jonas Brothers, signed to UMG’s Republic Records, said, “We’ve loved using and partnering with Snapchat over the years! It’s a place where we feel creative and where we can get instant feedback from our followers. We’re thrilled they are partnering with UMG because more than any of our past posts, now our fans will be able to use our music to engage with each other and across their posts, stories and lenses.”

UMG and Snap’s previous partnerships have included the premiere of “Lonely” by Justin Bieber (Def Jam) and Benny Blanco (Interscope), who were the first to use Sounds on Snapchat. Nicki Minaj (Republic) was the first artist to feature merchandise in an Snapchat Lens for her 2018 album “Queen,” while Benee’s 2019 global Snapchat Lens for her song “Supalonely” has generated more than 1 billion views to date. In addition, UMG has previewed songs on Snapchat from Iann Dior (10K/Virgin Music), Dreamer Boy (Slowplay/Harvest/Capitol Records) and Jawny (Interscope).

Olivia Rodrigo (Interscope) has used Snapchat for multiple releases, including “Driver’s License,” which had more than 10 million videos created with more than 325 million views since its release. Rodrigo was the first recording artist to use Snapchat’s new AR VFX technology in Lens Studio to provide an immersive experience where the user is covered in graphics from her newly released album, “Sour.”

And UMG artists like Zedd, Ariana Grande, Post Malone, Katy Perry, DJ Mustard, Avicii, DJ Snake and Maroon 5 have used Snap’s Lens Studio to create their own Snapchat Lenses. Other artists have become Snap Stars (Snapchat’s version of verified accounts), including The Weeknd, J Balvin, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande and Bad Bunny with large followings.

“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,” Michael Nash, UMG’s EVP of digital strategy, said in a statement. “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.”

Ben Schwerin, Snap’s SVP of content and partnerships, asserted that the Sounds tool has had an “immense impact” on the music industry as millions of Snapchat users have used it to discover and share music. “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,” Schwerin said in a statement.

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