For years creators were looking for a sustainable number two to counter YouTube’s dominance, is Snap here to stay or a mirage?

In 2019 I attended the Snap partner summit. I left there and proceeded to buy shares in the company, confident of its ability to be a dominant platform for years to come. Fast forward two years and Snap’s share price has rebounded from a low of $5 to over $50, winning over marketers and increasingly, creators. YouTube democratized production and distribution, ensuring that Hollywood as knew it is over. I discussed Evan Spiegel’s evolution and maturity in the video below. In the context of Snap’s momentum with advertisers, I think what Snap got right with marketers was finding the weak spots YouTube (endless supply pummelling ad rates for many, brand safety) and Facebook had and then created a solution that won over advertisers. That day, aside from enjoying the delicious tumeric coffees in the Los Angeles sun, I was struck by how much CMOs were raving about Snap. Since then, Snap brought on former Hulu ad exec Peter Naylor, who built up the SVOD’s AVOD business – giving him full purview at an ad-enabled platform like Snap allowed a Closer like Naylor to run circles around the competition. I suspect the Facebook boycott benefited Snap disproportionately, as marketers liked what they saw. Snap’s ability to attract top talent has been impressive, with former Amazon Advertising global head of field sales Jeremi Gorman joining before Naylor (Amazon has been the fastest growing large platform in advertising over the past few years).

A Crowded Space

YouTube – which retains our favored nation status – is a frenemy to media companies and brands alike as it has evolved from pariah to the belle of the ball.

Facebook remains a work-in-progress, with marketers having no choice but to spent on it.

TikTok may be the shiny new toy but remains TBD.

Twitter is, well, Twitter has bigger issues (disclaimer: I own shares in Snap, Twitter and Google at present time but please don’t take what I say as investing advise).

Snap is Coming Into Its Own

Snap’s evolution from infancy to adolescent to now young adult has been nothing but dazzling. Snap originally grew in popularity with users as an ephemeral messaging service; it then won over marketers with their filters which were definitely “beyond the banner.” Where it has proven successful with creators (WatchMojo has a number of channels on the platform with over 5 million followers) was a more sustainable growth trajectory. Indeed, Snap’s Discover platform provides:

i) a brand-safe haven for marketers
ii) a curated, uncluttered programming for users
iii) while giving creators a more sustainable growth trajectory that seems like a balanced and measured way to break through.

If you think of how the three constituencies online actually tend to have little in common,

that recipe for success has proven to become quite an intoxicating cocktail for all, and why I remain bullish on the company as an entrepreneur, operator and investor. The latest Spotlight product mimics TikTok, but with advertisers already on board, it’s not surprising to see them crushing it.

You can see a video Rebecca aka the WatchMojo Lady and I recorded to discuss why I was bullish on the company, below.