Snapchat acquisitions and music ambitions exposed

Snapchat acquisitions and music ambitions exposed

17 DEC 2014

Snapchat has acquired several companies in recent months, and is looking at the potential of working with Twitter and integrating music into its platform, according to emails leaked as part of the Sony Entertainment hack, and seen by TechCrunch.

Emails between Michael Lynton, Sony Entertainment CEO, and Snapchat board member Mitch Lasky revealed that Snapchat acquired QR scanning and iBeacon startup for $50 million, and wearable company Vergence Labs for $15 million.

It was also revealed that the previously announced acquisition of AddLive (likely to be used for Snapchat’s real-time video chat feature) cost $30 million.

Music was also a popular topic: the emails showed that Evan Spiegel, Snapchat CEO, met the president of global digital business and US sales at Sony Music Entertainment in June to discuss the possibility of bringing music to Snapchat.

The messaging app boss even showed interest in starting a music label, although this appears to have since abated.

Snapchat also negotiated with Vevo in August regarding a feature that would bring music video viewing to the messaging app. Although no agreement could be reached regarding revenue sharing and advertising, negotiations with Vevo and other music video providers are believed to have progressed since.

Snapchat has already featured music videos as part of its efforts to address its largely youth user base. Some videos have included links to purchase music on iTunes.

Emails sent by Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, suggested that he met Spiegel in January to discuss ideas about the two companies working together, with Twitter providing engineering support to the messaging service.

Snapchat clearly has ambitions to become a platform for third-party services, as it looks for ways to monetise its business.

One of the first elements of this strategy was a recent partnership with payments company Square to launch the Snapcash P2P payment tool. In addition, Spiegel said in October that advertising would soon be introduced.


Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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