Snapchat’s explosive growth in video viewing – up to 10bn daily ‘views’ in its most recent announcement – hasn’t been driven by the app’s Discover section.
For all the hype that greeted the launch of a feature focused on videos from MCNs and other media, it’s the ‘stories’ from celebrities, online influencers and friends that have been driving most viewing on Snapchat.
In the app’s latest update, though, it’s trying to give Discover a boost. First by featuring Discover videos on its Stories page – here in the UK, that currently means more prominence for vids from Vice, Sky News, BuzzFeed and other partners.
And second, by allowing Snapchat users to subscribe to individual Discover channels, which means their new videos will appear in the user’s ‘Recent Updates’ feed alongside snaps from friends and public figures that they follow.
It’s an attempt to re-energise Snapchat’s usefulness for the media world, and one that we think could see another wave of interest from music companies in launching Discover channels. Warner Music Group had a Discover channel at launch, although it was removed from the rotation in July 2015.
Rumours before launch suggested Vevo might be a partner, although the pair were reportedly unable to reach agreement on commercial terms – but that deal may be worth reviving now.
Thus far, Snapchat users have shown more interest in watching the videos of individuals – musicians included – than media publishers. If the redesign starts to shift those viewing dynamics, Discover may appeal to anyone producing regular music-focused video content, from YouTube channels filming live performances to broadcasters (BBC Music / Radio 1, perhaps?) and editorial sites.