Snap Strikes Multi-Year Deal With Universal Music Group

Sam Blake

Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

Snap Strikes Multi-Year Deal With Universal Music Group

Snapchat users will now be able to use songs from Kanye West, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift after Snap and Universal Music Group inked a deal that gives the social media network access to the music giant's expansive catalog.

The deal underscores the ongoing confluence of social media, music and ecommerce.


For UMG, the agreement provides an opportunity to boost exposure of its artists. The company has previously worked with Snap on a more piecemeal basis, with some of its artists' music already available on the app.

For Snap, which will use the music in its Sounds feature, the deal will help them compete with TikTok and other social media platforms increasingly reliant on music to engage users.

Sounds, launched in October, lets users incorporate songs in their video and photo posts and messages on Snapchat. Already the feature has been used in 521 million videos garnering 31 billion views, according to Snap. Nearly 45% of those were sent as direct messages, Snap said.

Olivia Rodrigo's hit song "Driver's License", which premiered in January 2021 under the UMG subsidiary Interscope label, has featured in over 10 million user-generated Snapchat videos using Sounds. Collectively those videos have been viewed over 325 million times, the companies said. Notorious B.I.G.'s 1994 hit "Big Poppa" has been included in 5 millions Snapchat creations, accumulating 108 million views.

As part of the deal, UMG will also be developing AR filters for Snapchat – which Snap calls lenses – tethered to some of its artists, according to a company statement. UMG noted that those lenses can be used to sell artist merchandise.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, other than being described as a "global" and "multi-year agreement."

Snap and UMG have collaborated numerous times in the past. The two companies created a lens for Billie Eilish's 2016 single "Ocean Eyes." In 2018 Nicki Minaj created the first lens selling artist merchandise in conjunction with her album "Queen." And emerging artist Benee incorporated her track "Supalonely" into a lens in 2019, which has been viewed over 1 billion times.

Snap also has music deals with Warner Music Group, Sony Music Publishing and others.

Over five billion messages are shared on Snapchat per day on average, Snap said.

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Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients
Courtesy of Regard

Culver City-based health care startup Regard, which uses AI-driven software to help physicians accurately diagnose patients, has raised $15.3 million in Series A funding.

Pasadena-based Calibrate Ventures and Colorado-based Foundry Group led the investment in Regard, formerly known as HealthTensor. Other investors that participated in the round include TenOneTen Ventures, Susa Ventures, Brook Byers of Byers Capital and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. The new funding will be used to grow Regard’s team and customer base, the company said in a press release.

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This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund
Image by Joshua Letona

This week in “Raises”: A local healthcare startup secured funding to help grow the team and deploy its software to more physicians and hospitals, while Black-led, seed-stage venture capital firm surpassed its goal for its second fund.

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Braid Theory's Plan to Foster the Next Generation of Ocean Tech Startups

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Braid Theory's Plan to Foster the Next Generation of Ocean Tech Startups
Photo courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles.

San Pedro-based Braid Theory is one of the growing number of accelerators in the country looking to grow the so-called blue economy, which spans a range of ocean-related industries and is estimated at $2.5 trillion a year.

The accelerator is accepting online applications until July 18, with its second-ever program kicking off in August.

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