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Snap in Talks to License Music to Let Snapchat Users Embed Songs in Posts

Snap wants to up Snapchat’s music game.

The company has been in negotiations with music companies including the big three — Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group — to license song catalogs for the Snapchat app, according to two industry sources familiar with the talks, confirming a Wall Street Journal report.

That would give Snapchat the right to let users include music in their posts, similar to the way ByteDance’s TikTok — the successor to lip-syncing app musical.ly — and Facebook do. The licensing rights would be limited to songs embedded in users’ posts on the social messaging and media app. In other words, Snap isn’t seeking to build a music-streaming service a la Spotify or Apple Music.

Reps for Snap and the music companies declined to comment.

Snapchat already has a pact with SiriusXM’s Pandora, which lets Pandora Premium subscribers share their favorite songs, albums, stations and playlists via Snapchat. Any Snapchat user in the U.S. who receives the Pandora “music card” has direct access to Pandora’s entire music library. Snap also has a pact with Apple-owned Shazam, under which Snapchat users can ID a song by pressing and holding on the camera screen.

In addition, Snap has done deals with individual artists. For example, last summer Ariana Grande used Snapchat to sell merch for her album “Sweetener” with a custom selfie Lens, which featured a pastel tie-dye face mask and a snippet of her song “Breathin’.”

Snap’s stock opened up more than 4% in Friday morning trading on the WSJ report.

Meanwhile, China’s ByteDance, which acquired musical.ly in 2017 and rebranded the app as TikTok, reportedly has been negotiating music licenses for a new streaming service that initially would be rolled out in emerging markets.

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