Apps, Mobile & SMS

Sticker Power For Musicians: Digital Money Makers From Messaging To Photo Apps

Snoopify-your-picsAt least two forms of digital stickers are offering new revenue streams for musicians taking advantage of visual content. One form of sticker is an enhanced emoticon used in messaging apps, a version of which is being introduced by Facebook for the web, and another form of sticker is an image that can be added to digital photos. Recent examples include K-Pop messaging stickers and Snoop Lion's Snoopify app with photo stickers.

Enhanced Emoticons a Growing Feature of Messaging Apps

I've previously written about the growth of messaging apps as social networks but haven't mentioned the related growth of enhanced emoticon stickers. For example, Japan-based Line reported in May $17 million from such stickers in a single quarter.

Facebook had already picked up on this trend, adding stickers to Messenger for Android, and now they're bringing stickers to web messaging.

I initially found out about Psy's messaging stickers (as well as the Snoopify app) via Music Ally. Not surprisingly a variety of K-Pop musicians have gotten into messaging stickers given the strength of messaging and stickers in South Korea. Kakao Talk is leading the way there and has also released Psy emoticons with sound.

I haven't taken a close look at pricing but I'm seeing sticker sets going for anywhere from .34 cents to $1.99 depending on the market when not being given away free for marketing purposes.

Themed Photo Apps Can Feature Stickers to Add to Fan Photos

The Snoopify app, featuring the omnipresent early adopter now known as Snoop Lion, makes different use of the sticker concept as graphics to be added to user uploaded photos.

Snoopify seems more part of the photo sharing craze than the messaging craze, though I assume there's a lot of potential crossover behavior there, but also monetizes by selling packs of stickers ranging from .99 cents to $1.99.

According to a piece at, Snoop Lion's "brand manager" Nick Adler stated that the stickers bring in an astounding $30,000 a week. That leaves a lot of unaswered questions but suggests the power of virtual goods that have long been exploited by game companies.

Digital Communications Growing Ever More Visual

Clearly superstar musicians can make money in ways that are not as relevant to DIY acts. But, in addition to opening up new revenue streams, the above examples of digital stickers should also be reminders that digital communications and social media are requiring music brands to become ever more visual.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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