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June 4, 2021

Welcome to the Metaverse: What do Snapchat’s new features mean for the music industry?

Love it or hate it, Snapchat – who famously had $1.3bn wiped off their valuation by this tweet by Kylie Jenner back in 2018 – now has more than 500 million daily users.

Whichever camp you’re in, you’ll likely agree, that the raft of new features recently announced are pretty cool...

Wait, is Snapchat even still a thing?

It’s worth noting that at 500 million daily users, Snapchat is very much a dominant player worthy of your attention.

To put things in perspective, it’s still a far more popular platform than Twitter or Pinterest and it reaches more users aged 18-29 in the US than TikTok.

Snap also says that more than 40% of its users are based outside of the US and Europe.

Source: Pew Research Center

What new Snap features got announced?

Snap announced a whole range of new features at their second annual Snap Partner Summit - including the latest version of their augmented reality goggles, dubbed Spectacles.

Below we'll take you through each of the key new features released, and what it could potentially mean for the music industry.

1. See Ticketmaster events on a virtual map

Later this year, users will be able to see upcoming Ticketmaster events at venues nearby on a new ‘Snapmap’. They’ll also be able to purchase tickets without leaving the app.

2. Gifting

Users will be able to purchase and send customized gifts to creators and artists, which can in turn be redeemed for cash. Could this be a new revenue stream for bands performing on Snapchat?

3. A New Lens Marketplace

You are now able to engage creators from a Snapchat market place, to create camera effects known as ‘Lenses’ to users. This will make it super easy for promoters or create custom branded Lenses that can be used on Snapchat.

What types of Lenses will artists or promoters be creating? Imagine creating lenses that are an extension of your latest music video. What about lenses that feature festival lineups that can be shared on Snapchat?

4. Try On Merch Using Augmented Reality

Artists and promoters can sell merch directly on Snapchat. It's now super easy for users to virtually try on your merch using Snapchat powered augmented reality. Simply use the camera, select the merch you want to try on and you can even change the style/color.

5. Fresh Augmented Reality Experiences

And new tools to create those experiences within the app. Could this be a forerunner to augmented reality live streams for artists?

6. Display custom data in Snapchat using their API

Imagine bringing in your festival sitemap into Snapchat? Could you direct people to different stages, bars or onsite food stalls using augmented reality? Could you start displaying the set times? This could now be possible with Snapchat's new API, which allows you to pull custom data into Snapchat, to create powerful custom augmented reality experiences.

7. Scan Real Life Objects & Turn Them Into Cartoons

You can now scan real life objects, and turn them into augmented reality animations. Could you turn your band members into augmented reality animations? 

8. New wearable tech

Snap’s Spectacles have had a major upgrade. Not only are they much better looking than previous editions, they pack a whole bunch of new features. Think about how this could change the onsite experience at a show? Could future production include a combination of lighting, video and augmented reality effects as part of the performance? Who is going to be first to create that Daft Punk moment?

Fully integrated with Lens Studio, Spectacles enable creators to build and interact with their Lenses in real time, tapping into Snap’s expansive AR ecosystem.

Welcome to the ‘metaverse’

The average Snapchatter opens the app at least 30 times a day – with these updates, Snap is creating a more immersive experience that blurs the line between reality and their app. What does this mean for the future of live experiences and how will they integrate into this metaverse?

All photos courtesy of Snap Inc.

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Welcome to the Metaverse: What do Snapchat’s new features mean for the music industry?
Article by
Joshua Young

Josh is a Growth Marketer at Audience Republic. He has previously worked at Sydney Fringe Festival, Live Nation & Disney Channel.