I am a firm believer that when it comes to marketing, the smartest thing you can possibly do is pay attention to anything that is forward thinking, no matter what industry it's happening in. 

Depending on what genre of music you listen to, you may or may not know that last week pop-rap icon Drake dropped his fourth studio album, Views. Aside from the fact that the album supposedly sold 600,000-plus copies in the first 24 hours, what's interesting are the business opportunities Drake and his team are taking advantage of--and how they are staying ahead of the game, marketing in the modern world.

Apple Music

A little background: Drake recently inked an exclusive deal with Apple Music, which is using access to his music as an incentive for consumers to sign up for Apple Music. Why is this important?

This is one of the clearest examples of where, not just music marketing, but the overarching concept of marketing is headed. Why are streaming services like Apple Music and Jay-Z's Tidal looking to sign artists exclusively? Because, as seen with Kanye West's most recent album, The Life of Pablo, an exclusive contract gives consumers massive reason to sign up for the service--even if just for the free trial. 

This is, essentially, influencer marketing hitting puberty--and music streaming companies are taking full advantage.

What does this mean for companies and brands outside of music? Think of the value you would provide if you had YouTubers or Instagram models or artists signed exclusively to your brand--not just creating content on behalf of your brand, but being a formal representation of your brand. TV streaming companies have already started doing this with shows and movies created exclusively for Netflix, etc.

There is huge potential here. Take note.


Unless you are on the platform, you probably missed it. On the day Drake's Views dropped, several custom Snapchat filters appeared--including, "Do Your Best Drake Impression."

It's common knowledge that one of Snapchat's biggest influencers is fellow music mogul DJ Khaled. But the number of artists who have created custom filters for Snapchat is still relatively low--Drake being one of the first to pair it with an album launch.

The most fascinating part of using Snapchat as a platform for promotion is how Drake has masterfully positioned himself as much more than just a musician. He is a meme, a pop culture character, a personality. And Snapchat is the perfect platform for that.

Second, when you think about Snapchat's demographic (primarily ages 18 to 34) and the fact that falls right within Drake's core audience, there aren't too many other platforms more perfectly suited for spreading awareness for his album launch.

Since Snapchat is relatively new and known for its young users, brands are hesitant to spend money on the platform. But as we can already see, the trend is heading in that direction whether big brands like it or not. Pretty soon, custom Snapchat filters for events, movie launches, album releases, product drops (like a new iPhone model, for example), etc., will all be commonplace. As it stands, Snapchat is already catching its mature counterpart, Facebook, in terms of daily video shares.

If you think branded filters on Snapchat aren't going to catch on, think again.