There are still plenty of people still snarking at Snapchat for being little more than a way for teenagers to swap compromising photos that are shared in haste and repented at leisure.
But actually, it’s much more interesting to think about the messaging app as a new content platform for teens and twentysomethings: somewhere they could just as easily be getting news and entertainment as photos and videos from their friends.
We’ve seen Snapchat move in that direction already with its “stories” feature and its recent introduction of ads, but a report on Digiday suggests it has grander ambitions. It claims that Snapchat is in negotiations with a range of media companies to serve its users articles, videos and music, including two prominent digital music services: Spotify and Vevo.
They’re expected to be incorporated into a new section of the Snapchat app called Discover, alongside the likes of Comedy Central, Vice, BuzzFeed, CNN, MailOnline, ESPN, Cosmopolitan, National Geographic and People magazine. Vevo has confirmed that it’s in talks with Snapchat, although Spotify has yet to comment. Both their logos are shown on a mockup of the Discover section leaked to Digiday.
It’s a very interesting prospect: the media partners’ content will have a limited life on Snapchat, just as photos and videos do. And there’s even the claim that they’ll be able to bring advertisers in around their content, sharing the revenues with Snapchat.
Discover will position Snapchat not as a messaging app, but as a fully-fledged mobile entertainment portal with – according to the most recent estimates – 100m monthly active users, of whom around two thirds use its app every day, and around 70% of whom are under 25 years old.
It’s a big opportunity for music, and for the specific music services that get to participate, if Spotify and Vevo haven’t locked up some kind of exclusivity deals. The creative possibilities are intriguing too when you think about short-lifespan content. For Vevo, that’s probably quite simple: new music videos.
And Spotify? It could present a few topical playlists and radio stations to Snapchat users every day, or even full albums, with the time-limit aspect making it a promotional opportunity. “Ed Sheeran’s new album is out next week: stream it on Snapchat for today only then tap this button to follow his Spotify profile,” and so on.
Discover’s planned November launch may slip back, according to Digiday, but it’s going to be very interesting when it does go live.