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Snapchat in licensing talks with the majors

By | Published on Tuesday 28 May 2019


Snapchat is reportedly in talks with all three majors about securing wide-ranging licences to allow the social network to more proactively help users put music into their videos. The licensing talks, first reported on last week by the Wall Street Journal, confirm that plenty of opportunities remain in the worlds of micro-licensing and user-generated content.

YouTube, of course, has long provided a platform via which the music industry can generate extra income when random people post non-commercial videos featuring existing recordings and songs. Though because YouTube was also a quasi (and then actual) streaming music platform, the huge revenue potential of user-generated content for music rights owners often got lost in the wider debate and shouting about the Google site.

Facebook finally getting around to securing music licences – but with ambitions much more focused on user-generated content rather than official music videos – helped put the spotlight back on the opportunities on that side of the digital music market.

And concurrent moves in the UGC space to more actively facilitate – rather than just allow – the inclusion of pop songs in user videos has arguably made it more important for platforms to engage with music companies, rather than just relying on the pesky copyright safe harbour.

SnapChat has likely decided that licences from the majors are now required as it seeks to better compete with Facebook and Instagram, which have been busy adding more music functionality of late, partly as a result of those licensing deals, and partly to take on newer player TikTok and the app it absorbed.