This Is Why Snapchat Shook Up Its Music Partnership

The radio mega-giant iHeartRadio offers relationships with multiple labels for the messaging service last valued at $15 billion.

July 27, 2015

Snapchat announced more updates today to its ever-evolving platform for publishers, called Discover, and two music companies are at the center of the change. The company added two channels—BuzzFeed and Clear Channel's iHeartRadio—to the short list of companies who can post special collections of content on the messaging app, and did away with channels from Yahoo and Warner Music Group. For WMG, it's the end to a seemingly failed experiment, and for iHeartRadio, it's a chance to use its mountain of content in a more constructive way.

Vanessa Adamo, iHeartRadio’s SVP of Entertainment Enterprises explained to The FADER that the Discover platform is an opportunity for the huge media company to make better use of the newsy bits and content created by the company's in-house digital team and the countless producers at its 850 radio stations that reach across 150 markets.


“I just think we have this unbelievable access to talent, what's breaking, and to new artists.” Adamo said. “We work with every label not just one label. We are the only company this big that is hearing from listeners everyday. We're having that two-way conversation on a huge scale and I don't if know that could be said for other partners. Snapchat knows we compliment them in a great way.”

When asked if “that one label“ was referring to WMG, Adamo clarified that iHeartRadio had nothing to do with WMG’s exit on the Discover platform and that the two companies work together on a continual basis. She also added that it should not be viewed as a “one was added and one was taken away” sort of situation.

In a statement sent to The FADER, Snapchat praised iHeartRadio and stressed the experimental nature of the Discover feature:

“iHeartRadio’s access to interviews with the biggest artists and celebrities is a daily bit of pop culture we think Snapchatters will love. At the heart of radio is live mobile entertainment and it’s no question that iHeart is a true innovator.

Since launching Discover with Yahoo and Warner Music six months ago, the teams have been continuously experimenting and learning what type of content works best. Although we have new partners joining Discover today, we continue to look at different ways we can work with Yahoo and Warner Music Group on Snapchat in the future.”

But WMG’s troubles with its Discover page were evident. (A rep for WMG declined to comment for this piece.) For one thing, they were the only company in the launch group that wasn't a news company or cable TV channel. On launch day, the page was singled out of the small bunch as “subpar.” And as pointed out by Ad Age this morning, the page hadn’t run any ads for the past two weeks. Although most companies have had trouble booking consistent buyers for their channels ads, the going rates are generally understood to be very high.

Adamo told The FADER that iHeartRadio’s channel would definitely be running ads on its platform and the company is currently in talks with several advertisers.

This Is Why Snapchat Shook Up Its Music Partnership