Snapchat are looking to enter the music game

Do you enjoy using Spotify to soundtrack your Instagram stories? Or perhaps lip-synching along to your favourite songs, through TikTok?

Snapchat may soon join the music-embedding party, allowing you to add officially licensed tracks to your stories and snaps.


The instant messaging platform is in negotiations with the Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Entertainment to license song catalogues for the Snapchat app.

The licences would contain the use of music to users’ posts, rather than enabling Snapchat to create an on-demand streaming service like Apple Music or Spotify.

These developments emerge in an age where media platforms are making increasingly lucrative decisions to partner with music distributors, thereby enhancing user autonomy over content generation.

Last year Facebook secured broad licenses, allowing Instagram users to add licensed music to their stories. As Instagram has proven, integrating music into story-telling mediums provides infinite possibilities for creating content: users can do live Q&A’s on the platform, premiere songs on their feeds, shoot behind-the-scenes footage for IGTV, or tease a song on your story.

Similarly, ByteDance, one of China’s most influential startups, merged Musical.ly with TikTok in August last year, prompting an exponential growth in their audience to somewhere between 700 and 800 million users across its apps.

Snapchat’s new direction would build on its relationships with applications like SiriusXM’s Pandora, which enables Premium subscribers to share their favourite music via Snapchat, or Shazam, which allows users to press and hold their camera screens to ID a song.

This story on music licensing emerges soon after developments regarding the Rolling Stones’ decision to forgo their rights to Bitter Sweet Symphony.