For those of you who, unlike me, are not in Snapchat 100 times a day, something cool happened today. Today Madonna released the world-premier of her new music video on Snapchat’s new Discover platform.
This is all part of Snapchat’s Discover world, and it’s completely different than how the platform has been used since it’s launch. Discover is media consumption on Snapchat. There are no “brand stories” any more. This is the media platform Snapchat is going with. This is how they will partner with brands. There is very little difference between this execution and Yahoo’s execution in the mid-nineties. It’s a portal to content. They have the attention and now they’re selling it back to brands.
There are a couple interesting things here. One, Madonna has historically been known as being nimble and adaptable to the times. I think that’s dropped off somewhere around 2003, but the fact that she was able to do this makes me super happy for her. In some weird way, I’ve always associated myself with Madonna. I know that sounds funny but she always adapts to the times, and I respect that.
Two, it’s a huge coup for Snapchat. The Madonna brand feels a little bit off from a Snapchat standpoint, but there is something there that everything should pay attention to, which is this: I wouldn’t say the Madonna brand is any different or more out of place than the Yahoo brand or the CNN brand that we can now find in Discover.
What I think you’re seeing from Snapchat is a very keen awareness that a lot of the people with money regard them as a “bunch of kids”. By partnering with brands like CNN and Cosmo, and Madonna, in a world where Drake, or The Biebs, or a million other people would have loved to have this spot, Snapchat is putting itself in a very smart place by aging up through the content they are providing. And that is super important for them. I’ve talked about “youthification” before, but this is… “age-up-ification”?
Whereas some may say “They’re going to alienate their base by showing this Madonna video,” I promise you that the 15-year-old girl who has never even heard of Madonna (that’s right: go look at recent conversations about Paul McCartney and Missy Elliott) is not going to all of a sudden stop using Snapchat just because Madonna is the first video they launched.
People underestimate the amazing brand equity that Snapchat has. They’re acting like a media company now, which falls in line with my belief that every business in the world is a media company. Now platforms themselves are media companies. Plus, it gives Madonna access to an audience that she has struggled with, and that’s smart on her part there too.