Snap is launching a new Sounds Creator Fund to financially support independent artists who are distributing music on Snapchat via DistroKid. Starting in August, the company will distribute payments for up to 20 songs per month at $5,000 per song. Snap anticipates awarding up to $100,000 in grants each month. The company told TechCrunch that its Music Team will select songs from emerging artists who have created songs that are driving content across the app. Artists must be based in the United States and be at least 16 years old in order to be eligible for the fund.
When asked how long the program will last, a spokesperson for Snap said the Sounds Creator Fund will run for the next several months to start but may be extended.
Creators who are selected to receive a grant from the fund will also receive creative support, Snap says, as popular songs will have the opportunity to be included in the app's Sounds product, in a Snapchat Lens or in Spotlight.
"We want to support the independent and emerging artists that are driving creation on Snapchat," said Ted Suh, global head of Music Partnerships at Snap, in a statement. "By providing meaningful funding and creative support, our goal is for artists to feel empowered to continue creating and pursue a career in music."
It's worth noting that musicians signed to Snap’s music label and publisher partners, which include Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music Publishing and more, monetize their content through Snap’s label and publishing licensing agreements. This new fund is a separate grant program for any musician that has opted into the Snapchat's distribution deal with Distrokid.
Snap says that Snapchat has proven to be a powerful distribution tool for artists to share their music globally. Snap notes that videos created with music from Sounds on Snapchat have collectively resulted in over 2.7 billion videos created and over 183 billion views. In addition, Snap says nearly two-thirds of Spotlight submissions use one of Snapchat’s creative tools or an augmented reality Lens.
The launch of the new Sounds fund comes a month after Snap announced its first accelerator program for emerging Black creators. Over the course of a year, Snap will pay 25 selected applicants $10,000 a month ($120,000 total) to help launch their careers, marking a $3 million total investment. The program is part of Snap’s 523 initiative, which aims to support underrepresented creators.
Snap released its second-quarter earnings last week and missed analyst’s expectations. Revenue was $1.11 billion for the quarter, up 13% from the same period a year earlier but coming in below its previous guidance of 20% to 25%. Snap also declined to predict its future financial performance due to “uncertainties related to the operating environment.” The company noted that the second quarter of the year ended up being more challenging than expected and that it now plans to “substantially slow our rate of hiring, as well as the rate of operating expense growth.”