As television networks realize that cable-cutting is inevitable, they are turning to a place tailor made for entertainment.
Let’s take a ride in the time machine for a second. Way back in 2005 Andy Samberg and his lonely friends premiered a video during an episode of Saturday Night Live called Lazy Sunday. At the time we had no idea, but this 2:22 music video of two middle class white guys rapping about how they spent a Sunday changed digital content forever.
It was the typical Monday morning watercooler topic with one major difference. Video streaming was in its infancy, but Lazy Sunday became one of the first pieces of mainstream television content to stream through computer screens and take on a life of its own.
Ladies and gentlemen, this was probably the biggest shift in content innovation since we first plugged a cable into the back of a television. Sure, Lazy Sunday was a great piece of content, but how it made its way from TV screens to computer screens is what finally caught the attention of mainstream entertainment networks.
SNL has since gone on to share streaming content on social channels like Facebook and Twitter, but recently they’ve made a move that many more mainstream entertainment properties will soon follow. They’ve bought into a 1080×1920 mobile world and created Snapchat exclusive content.
This brings us to the topic at hand. This year I did something that would be considered unheard of just three years ago. I watched the entire super bowl on Snapchat. No commercials, no hours of pregame, and no commentators – and you know what? It was enlightening. Not only did I get to experience the game from a new perspective, but it also flicked the proverbial switch in my head about where digital content is going.
Entertainment properties should be looking at Snapchat as their next big step in getting content to fans – and just like TV, marketers need to be thinking the same. Here’s some numbers to think about as of February of this year: There are 158 million daily users and 301 million monthly users on Snapchat. On average, there are 2.5 billion Snaps per day, and North America alone covers roughly 43% of daily active users.
Even though growth has slowed of late thanks to the introduction of Instagram Stories, Snapchat is still climbing thanks largely in part to the brand’s cool factor. Recently Snapchat has become Snap Inc., they secretly released Spectacles in vending machines, and because being a ‘social media channel’ is something an old person would say, they’re now referring to themselves as a camera company. It’s no wonder networks like the BBC and Discovery are turning to Snapchat to reach new fans.
Snap is aware of where they stand in the digital content space – so much so that they’ve already started innovating within their own technology to facilitate entertainment properties. Take for instance last year’s reality TV singing sensation The Voice.
For the first time ever, contestants over the age of 18 could audition for the program using Snapchat. And as recently as last month, A+E announced the Snapchat exclusive program Second Chance, an 8-week reality experience that brings exes together to discuss why their relationships ended.
But how did we end up in a world where epic 100-inch HD TVs and cable boxes take a backseat to handheld mobile devices? Snapchat mixed one-to-one interaction with the ability to instantly create and share content; then they threw it all in a blender with recognizable properties and mainstream entertainment. And it makes perfect sense.
Digital content isn’t just about watching, it’s about getting involved, creating, sharing, and reacting. And right now, Snapchat is one of fastest growing social channels out there as evidenced by the growth of their quarterly user base surpassing former social media giant Twitter.
At this point I’m sure you can sense a theme here, when it comes to innovating digital content, Snap is leading the way. So, marketers, advertisers, brand enthusiasts, and basically anyone looking at the future of entertainment – if you’re wondering what the next move should be, just hold up your phone, tap the little yellow ghost, and start watching.
You’ll see, Snap is innovating the way we experience content six ways from Lazy Sunday.