Snapchat Partners With Republic Records to Launch ‘Band Tees’ — Digital Avatar Merch from Lil Wayne, Greta Van Fleet, and More

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Greta Van Fleet, one of the acts with “Band Tees” digital merch on Snapchat. Photo Credit: Troy Larson

Snapchat (NYSE: SNAP) has partnered with Universal Music Group’s Republic Records to launch “Band Tees,” a Bitmoji-centered digital-merch collection featuring avatar apparel from The Jonas Brothers, Lil Wayne, and others.

The Snap-owned social and messaging platform, which reported having 383 million daily active users during Q1 2023, unveiled its Republic virtual-item tie-up today. As part of the union, the companies have collaborated on “digital merch tops” from the above-mentioned acts as well as Greta Van Fleet, Kim Petras, Metro Boomin, and Nicki Minaj.

And while the Band Tees collection will presumably expand to include additional creators and labels in the future, Snapchatters can at present equip their Bitmoji avatars with virtual t-shirts and/or hoodies from the noted artists.

A cursory glance at the appropriate (free) option shows that most of the digital clothing promotes artists themselves as opposed to individual projects. But The Jonas Brothers’ recently released The Album, which the group has likewise marketed with partnerships on Candy Crush Saga and TikTok, is featured on a portion of the intangible apparel. (The three-piece band is also preparing to embark on a 35-date stadium and arena tour in August.)

Similarly, Metro Boomin’s Band Tee reads “Boominati,” whereas another decidedly straightforward Band Tee showcases a red star. Needless to say, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on the offering in the approaching months and years, particularly to see how it’s leveraged around new releases, tours, and even physical merch lines.

More broadly, the initiative represents the latest in a series of music-focused endeavors for Snapchat, which says it boasts north of 750 million monthly active users.

“Snapchat’s Sounds, AR Lens technology, and our Live Nation partnership have proven to be a powerful distribution tool for artists and creators to expand their creative canvas and share their music globally,” communicated the platform, which built out Sounds in February and is zeroing in specifically on live-music AR experiences.

On the licensing front, Snapchat – which has only had agreements in place with all three major labels since late 2021 – last month revealed deals with UnitedMasters (including grant eligibility for its artists), Buma/Stemra, and SUISA, the latter of which had sued the Santa Monica-based platform for copyright infringement in 2022.

When the market closed today, Snapchat stock was worth $9.78 per share, reflecting a 10.5 percent improvement since 2023’s beginning. The company is scheduled to post its Q2 earnings on Monday, July 24th.