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After TikTok and Instagram, Music is Making Its Way to Snapchat

Tech

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The arms race among TikTok, Instagram, and Snap continues- this time, Snap is venturing into licensed music for its posts.

The ability to add music to online creations, without the threat of post removal, has rocketed both Instagram and TikTok to success. Now, Snapchat reportedly wants in.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, talks have “intensified in recent weeks” between Snap and the three major record labels: Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. If completed, Snap could add the ability to embed clips of songs on the platform’s posts. Such a deal would not only enhance the user experience for Snapchat users accustomed to these capabilities on rival apps, but would be “a step toward keeping the app competitive against Facebook and TikTok”—and intensify the arms race of sorts happening among the three.

TikTok gets its music licensing capability from low-cost deals that were completed by its parent company ByteDance and their acquired property, Musical.ly. Facebook secured these rights in 2018, deploying them shortly thereafter via Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Oculus. Instagram’s power in this arena rose further with its Spotify integration, a major contributor to Instagram Stories’ meteoric rise. But TikTok is nipping at both Instagram and Snapchat’s heels, maintaining its status as the #1 downloaded iOS app for over a year. And Instagram has already responded to this rising dominance by reformatting their fledgling IGTV product to look more like TikTok’s algorithmic feed.

At present, Snapchat’s music integration capabilities are locked into a single lens, deployed as a “Lip Sync Challenge” last December. Should this deal get done, those capabilities could expand into all private and public Snaps. And again, while the deal is not yet signed, it shows promise—and more than a little fight—on the part of Snap, who continues to remake its image to regain the popularity of its early days.

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