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Snap, Minibeats bring musical interactivity to AR

Dive Brief:
Minibeats, a new music platform, has created Snapchat lenses that allow users to create their own versions of artists’ songs using AR effects, according to information shared with Marketing Dive.
Users can decorate themselves with musical tattoos, use gestures like hand waving to trigger musical phrases from songs and put a “musical mask” on their hand that sings along to a song. Artists at launch include Killboy, Alice Glass, Taetro and Phil Good.
The Minibeats lenses also feature first-of-its-kind in-lens purchases, such as playable stem tracks. Minibeats says it will grant artists a 50% share of the revenue earned from their lenses. That cut is significantly higher than most streaming platforms.

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Dive Insight:
Minibeats is a new music platform enabling interactive music for social expression that shortly plans to introduce a “full-fledged AR social music creation app” with more artists and brands. Its soft launch with Snapchat points to how the latter is pinning its future on the ability to help creators monetize AR.

The partnership points to the growing synergy between the music industry and social media apps in response to TikTok’s significant growth. Along the way, music rights have become an issue for brands on social media.

The Minibeats launch is presumably part of Snap’s experiments in monetizing AR. Each lens offers users a different interactive experience intended to match the mood of the song. For Killboy, for instance, users can decorate themselves in virtual tattoos tied to the artist’s single “Loser.” Meanwhile, the lens for Alice Glass uses AR gestures to trigger interactive phrases from her single “Lips Apart.”

In addition to enabling in-lens purchases, the technology helps the artists connect with fans in new ways.

“Minibeats is exciting to me because it allows users to interact with my music in a personal way that hasn’t been done before,” said Alice Glass in the release.

After saying in an earnings call earlier this year that Snap would focus on AR initiatives, the platform has launched a large-scale Shopping Lens partnership with Amazon and a tie-in with Disney for the release of “Avatar: The Way of Water.” Snapchat also reported that Walmart’s recent Catalog-Powered Shopping Lenses reached over 35 million users in the app, leading to more than 161 million virtual trials of featured Walmart items.