I had to think twice before I wrote about this…

Why? Because it’s so powerful… So powerful I had to think about whether to share it beyond the labels and managers already “in the know”.

But then, I reminded myself why I write. I know this post will be mutually beneficial both to the music community and Snap, who has worked hard to deliver the brilliant functionality I’m about to share with you.

After making global headlines last week with the release of her single Harry, where do you think Kelsy Karter’s song got the most impressions?

I’d have to hire a research company to analyze the hundreds of millions (arguably bordering on a billion) impressions the campaign got… But what about if we simplify the question by limiting the answers to the typical partners of the music industry – the places where you typically measure view count and engagement.

Since the launch of the video was the crux of the campaign, you may think YouTube is where we got the most plays… Or you may think about the virality of the story on instagram or twitter, and believe that’s the answer… Or maybe one of the streaming platforms came to mind. Or maybe, I already gave it away in the title…

Yes, the answer is Snap.

Last year, our artists NoMBe and Thutmose were blessed to receive a global lens campaign around the World Cup from Manny Adler, the head of music partnerships at Snap – This single marketing driver propelled the record into the Top 100 global Shazam chart (#47 to be exact).

However, what’s interesting about Kelsy’s campaign is the lens was not created by Snap. We created it ourselves.

Creating your own lens is a functionality which quietly rolled out last December allowing any artist, label or even fan to create their own lens — aptly named Lens Studio.

The lenses that receive the most engagement are propelled to the explorer page where lenses created by the Snap community are dispalyed. However, there is an editorial component as well – Snap’s music team can push their favorite lenses into the explorer page too.

Unlike the global lenses, which only have one or two with music per month, there is one music lens per day pushed to the explorer page.

Since any lens on the explorer page is two more clicks away than one in the standard reel, they obviously get less engagement than a global lens. But how much? That’s what I wanted to find out when Manny first told me about this tool.

So when the Harry madness started with Kelsy, we decided to create a lens where any fan could “put” the Harry tattoo on their face. It cost $175 to make the lens (prices can range from that amount to $5000). The lens had 1MM views in the first 48 hours!!! And just hit 2MM today, still less than a week since it debuted.

When it comes to music discovery and engagement, Snap is a force.

With one music lens being editorially chosen a day, that’s 365 chances to have 7 figure impressions on your song… But even if your lens is not chosen, you can still create your own lens for your fans to share.

What other platforms provide a better UGC experience to involve fans in creating content and sharing an artist’s music? I can’t think of one and am surprised more artists and their teams aren’t making lenses for most of their releases. Maybe now they will?

For the record, there are over 186MM daily active users on Snap and 70% of them engage with a lens every single day! Over 300,000 lenses have already been created. If you haven’t created one yet, now’s the perfect time to start.

Next Tool Tuesday, I’ll share a list of pre-screen lens designers. In the meantime, if you want to check out Kelsy’s lens or a few others made by the industry you can scan them from here on Snap –


February 27, 2019 6:04 pm

Was the $175 just to create the lens itself? I assume it cost a lot more to publish it right?

Jake Udell
March 2, 2019 8:30 pm

No. It was $175 and ZERO to publish it.

Leave a Reply