Snapchat is banking on it.

For the past fifteen years we’ve heard that kids don’t care about selling out, that tying up with corporations is a badge of honor.

But Evan Spiegel thinks different.

Turns out Snapchat’s value may not be dependent upon a technological breakthrough, but a philosophical one.

Snapchat is anti-influencer, anti-celebrity and anti-metric. In other words, the company is saying everything we know is wrong.

For years we’ve been hearing about nobodies triumphing on social media. Gaining a slew of followers and then selling them stuff. It’s the new American Dream.

And then there’s the quantification game, played not only by said influencers and celebrities, but you at home. That’s right, how many followers have you got?

Snapchat won’t tell you.

It’s positively un-American I say!

We’ve been hearing for years that bands are brands. But there are few terms more diametrically opposed to art. Art should be ever-changing, testing limits, pissing people off, elating them. Art is amorphous, brands are stagnant.

Your identity used to be evidenced by your art.

Now you build your identity online and your art is a small part of your endeavor. Maybe the key kernel, but really just a way to get rich.

Snapchat wants to get rich too. But it does not want to play the typical social network advertising game. For those of you scoring at home, you know that ad rates keep dropping. Which is why you see more link-bait. They’ve got to entice you to click through. But you end up pissed off, and the ads are ineffective, so the price keeps dropping, it’s an endless circling down the drain.

But not on Snapchat. On Snapchat ad rates are sky high. Because the service doesn’t allow this detritus to enter its platform.

Hollywood, that purveyor of junk? If you watch their movies you can see the product placements.

There are no product placements on Snapchat. A few slip through, but Snapchat does its best to eliminate them. Because they ruin the experience.

How can one startup get the experience so right when the rest of entertainment gets it so wrong? Not only the web, with its fake news and link-bait, but movie theatres with their ads and the music industry with its opaque ticketing…

Snapchat is jetting us back to the past.

If you’re not playing the metrics game, if there’s no ranking of followers, you must create the art for art’s sake. There’s no gaming the system. There’s no point. Snapchat is where you go to connect, where celebrities are just like regular people, where if what they’ve got to say is worthwhile people will pay attention, otherwise not.

So Snapchat is about trust and innovation. Key elements in the entertainment business of yore, but long gone today.

And being famous for nothing? Snapchat puts a crimp in that too. Because all those people are doing it to sell, and you can’t sell on Snapchat.

This is a revolution folks. This is the undoing of everything we’ve known for decades.

In the music business it’s all about sponsorship.

But there’s no sponsorship on Snapchat, celebs cannot tie in with corporations to make bucks. Of course, Snapchat makes bucks, the service has sponsors, but this is the way it used to be. Sure, you’re playing Staples Center, but do you have an alcohol logo on stage with you, one that you’ve been paid to display?

Evan Spiegel is banking on authenticity selling.

Authenticity… Are you speaking from the gut or saying what’s expedient? Are you willing to take a stand on the issues of the day? Do you have rough edges that thrill some and piss off others, as opposed to being a wishy-washy wimp?

In the classic rock era acts testified.

Today all we’ve got is crickets. The artists are too afraid. Of not only pissing off fans, but corporations.

And that’s just plain wrong.

People know what’s real and what’s fake. And you might be able to fool some of them some of the time, but never all of them all of the time.

But that’s the paradigm the entertainment business is banking on. Let’s just do the same old thing with the usual suspects and tie in with every corporation known to man and we’ll be richer and the public will be none the wiser.

Absolutely wrong.

Could be that Evan Spiegel and his team revolutionize art/creativity the same way Shawn Fanning revolutionized distribution. We’ve been ripe for disruption. Hell, we haven’t had a new sound in music this century. The record labels are looking for insurance. No one’s willing to take a risk. And the primary risk should be with the art.

What if it was about the music as opposed to the clothing line? What if as a result of Snapchat’s policy sponsorship completely disappeared from music?

Snapchat is banking on it. That authenticity emerges victorious. And so far, the service is winning. Youngsters have flocked from other social networks to Snapchat, its valuation is through the roof, because it’s not all fake image and sales pitches, nincompoops on Instagram trying to sell us their lifestyle.

So once again, the techies, the outsiders, are willing to do what none of the usual suspects is willing to. Snapchat is willing to leave all the celebrity/influencer crap by the wayside to deliver a better experience. The Beats paradigm of selling crappy headphones by getting sports stars to wear them? That may be left in the dust. Because right now Snapchat is winning, by playing a game none of their competitors will.

Success always comes from taking a risk, by doing what’s in your gut as opposed to what others tell you to do.

Sponsorship is the enemy. Selling out is a travesty. Art and commerce do intersect, but for years commerce has swallowed art.

That might not be the future if Snapchat has its way.

“Snapchat Plays Hard to Get With Celebrities and Influencers”

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