Can Snapchat's New Music Channel Boost the Brand?

Snapchat hits us with ANOTHER ONE.

Earlier this year, Snapchat shuttered its own original content division. In its place, the platform opened Story Explorer, a new feature that allows users to dig deeper into a particular aspect of a Live Story. This weekend, however, Snapchat pushed some new original content on Discover, hopping on the year-end music bandwagon. This Year in R&B features a mix of recommendations, articles, and Spotify advertisements.

Snapchat introduced This Year in R&B to its Discover channel.

This Year in R&B is not a significant deviation from Snapchat’s choice to end original content. It will continue for a week of genre recommendations, but there are no plans to continue the music channel longterm, Advertising Age reports. Nevertheless, the timing could not be better. Snapchat, as a music platform, has been in the news more than usual lately because of a New York Times article on one of the app’s greatest brand ambassadors: DJ Khaled (whom you can follow at @djkhaled305). With his (maybe) unofficial cosign, users know that Snapchat can be used as more than a silly-photo-sender.

This Year in R&B aims to introduce listeners to lesser known artists, thereby boosting Snapchat’s cred as a valuable music source. For example, the top track that Snapchat recommends is Towkio’s “Heaven Only Knows,” a Chance the Rapper-featuring track from his self-released mixtape .Wav Theory.

Towkio's "Heaven Only Knows" is Snapchat's top R&B track you should know.

Snapchat is obviously making money from the year-end Discover channel — the Spotify plugs literally say “ad” on them. Beyond profit, though, it’s an opportunity for Snapchat showcase itself. Its original Snapchat TV show idea, Literally Can’t Even, was a flop, but maybe there is a future in promoting others’ creations as their own. It’s not crazy to suggest that Snapchat could soon premiere or tease new music releases. I’m sure they’d have a willing participant in DJ Khaled.

So Snapchat’s hypothetically temporary music channel helps boost the brand in a new direction. There are more credible places to get news and sports and even music. But if Snapchat can take small steps toward proving that it’s a viable platform for the latter, then new windows open.

Media via Snapchat, Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Bacardi