Snap launched its ‘Sounds’ feature for Snapchat in October 2020, as a way for people to create videos using licensed music. It’s part of the company’s growing partnerships with the music industry. A new deal with Universal Music Group, and some stats on how Sounds is doing.

The deal. It was described as an “expansive multifaceted global agreement” that will make UMG’s entire catalogue of music available in Snapchat’s creative tools, including Sounds and its augmented reality lenses. UMG’s teams will be developing more AR lenses for their artists as part of the deal “with the opportunity to feature merchandise launches and e-commerce experiences”.

Now more stats. Snap announced some figures on Sounds itself. Since its October launch, 521m videos have been created using the feature, generating 31bn views. Nearly 45% of those videos were sent as direct messages.

The Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Big Poppa’ has been used for 5m videos that generated 108m views.

Snap also noted that besides UMG, it has deals with WMG; Merlin; the publishing arms of all three major labels; Kobalt; BMG; members of US body the NMPA (thus swerving any Peloton/Twitch/Roblox-style legal headaches from that body), and DistroKid, as well as individual songwriters and music publishers.

As its Sounds catalogue expands, Snap is using playlists as a key way for its 280 million daily active Snapchat users to find music to use in their videos. That includes theme and genre-based playlists (Love, Hip-Hop, Movie and TV etc); others with songs that are trending either on Snapchat or on other platforms; and a ‘Top Voisey’ list of tracks created in Voisey, the music app that Snap acquired in November 2020.

Snap is also working with digital music services – Spotify, SoundCloud, and Apple Music so far – to use its ‘Snap Kit’ tool to help people create musical snaps from those streaming services.

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