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Snapchat Users “Discover” Madonna

It’s not unusual for music artists to release new songs exclusively through a partner. What is unusual though, is when that partner is Snapchat.

Madonna recently premiered the first video “Living for Love” off of her Rebel Heart album on Snapchat’s Discover channel. Like the rest of Snapchat’s ephemeral content, the video was only available to Snapchat users for 24 hours before being replaced with new content.

"Hey, you, watch my new video."
“Hey, you, watch my new video.”

The Discover channel is a brand-new feature itself, having been implemented as part of Snapchat’s bid to rebrand itself as a comprehensive media platform instead of just a text, video, and photo messaging application. Warner Music and VICE had already been promoting other new and featured artists through Discover, but Madonna was Snapchat’s first big-name to buzz about.

These types of cross-media partnerships come at a time when the music industry is seeking is seeking to turn profits on new music distribution mediums in the face of flagging traditional sales. The Verge reports that Snapchat had been courting music labels for at least the last year:

“Emails leaked during the Sony hack showed that Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel had been working on partnering with companies in the music industry for a big part of 2014. The proposed ideas ranged from starting a label to using the app to cover up-and-coming acts. Talks apparently stalled because many music executives were concerned about the ability to make money on the platform.”

Snapchat isn’t the first platform to premiere a video, though — the app follows in the footsteps of social giants Facebook and Twitter, which have premiered videos from the likes of Bruno Mars, Jennifer Lopez, and Jay-Z, among others. Typically, these services have exclusive access to the video for a 24-hour time period after which it’s released elsewhere, which is why you can now easily watch the “Living for Love” video on YouTube:

It’s an interesting idea, but I wonder Snapchat has the mass appeal to pull it off. I know I personally wouldn’t bother signing up for a Snapchat account even if my favorite band was premiering a video there, especially if I knew that I could simply catch the video elsewhere if I simply waited a day or two.

What do you think? Would you sign up for a new social account just to catch some featured content?

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