The march of Snap to become the world's augmented reality engine isn't slowing down.
In a new deal announced on Thursday, Snap has revealed that it has signed an agreement to become the software driving Universal Music Group's (UMG) mobile AR music offerings.
As the home to major artists like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, the Jonas Brothers, Rihanna, Adele, Justin Bieber, and many others, the deal effectively gives Snap an exclusive pipeline into the some of the most popular entertainment content on the planet.
The deal will also give Snapchat users the ability to more easily (and legally) incorporate UMG music into the content they share, including augmented reality Lenses.
In addition to becoming available via the Snapchat Sounds tool, the deal will also incorporate more UMG artist-related AR Lenses in the app's carousel. And for Snap creators, the biggest news here is that the UMG deal will also make some of the biggest music artists available for use as a part of Lens Studio.
"When entertainment and social media companies work together, fans are able to creatively build close-knit communities around the artists and the music they love, all while ensuring that artists are fairly compensated for the use of their music," said Michael Nash, UMG's executive vice president of digital strategy, in a statement. "We're looking forward to working with Snap to unlock even more innovative features and allow creativity and expressive communication across Snapchat's community."
Snap has already established itself as a premium marketing partner for some of the biggest brands on the market. But these recent moves by Snap to turn itself into a native go-to source of mobile AR for major companies appear to be part of a long term strategy that mirrors that of L'Oréal and its ModiFace AR tool, which is powering a large number of the AR experiences in the beauty industry.
By adding UMG's massive music catalog to the fold, for both Snapchat users and creators, Snap has taken another major step toward mainstreaming AR.