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Snap Gathering Music Rights to Battle TikTok

Image Credit: 9to5Mac

“They’re break-dance fighting!”

TikTok, at least if the constant barrage of ads for it I’m exposed to are any indication, is starting to pick up steam in the social media realm. It’s managed to fill part of the niche left behind by Vine (rest in peace), not to mention its sizable international user base, especially in China. But, as sudden bursts of success tend to, they have attracted the ire of certain members of the old guard. In particular, Snap, whose profits have been fluctuating over the last couple of years, is planning measures to steal TikTok’s thunder. In a single word: music.

Rumblings have emerged from Snap that the company may soon approach several big music labels with the intent of licensing songs. The plan is to get the rights to chart-toppers from Universal, Sony, and Warner, and then allow Snapchat users to use that music freely when creating posts and videos, not unlike how TikTok (as well as Instagram Stories) is structured.

This isn’t the first time Snap has tried a musical attack to boost Snapchat’s numbers. In December of last year, Snapchat hosted the Lens Challenges, which featured augmented reality lip syncing to several popular songs. However, those songs were locked exclusively to the Lens Challenges, and couldn’t be used for any regular posts. If Snap can make these deals happen, users would have free reign to use licensed music in posts and videos, though likely only in the form of short bites.

Snap’s talks are ongoing, with no set end date, but the talks have supposedly “intensified” recently in the words of a representative, so a major update may not be far off.