Vanity Fair Hollywood Cover 2016
Courtesy of Vanity Fair

Evan Spiegel, CEO of social-media darling Snapchat, called out the company’s pact with Conde Nast’s Vanity Fair to exclusively debut the cover of the mag’s annual Hollywood issue and provide a home for its ongoing Oscars coverage as illustrative of the ravenous appetite among millennials for video.

The deal with Vanity Fair is “an example of how we’re trying to accommodate publishers who can’t produce 20 videos a day but still want to reach our audience,” said Spiegel, speaking Monday at the MPA’s American Magazine Media Conference in New York. He described Snapchat Discover, the startup’s dedicated section for media partners, as a “video magazine.”

“What we’re really seeing now is video is resonating,” he said. “Mobile phones are about creating media.” Privately held Snapchat has said it has more than 100 million daily users, generating north of 7 billion video views per day.

Vanity Fair unveiled the cover of the Hollywood issue Monday first on Snapchat Discover just before noon ET. The magazine publicized the issue later on other social media and its own website.

The cover of VF’s 2016 Hollywood issue features 13 female actors, photographed by Annie Leibovitz, including Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o, Viola Davis and Cate Blanchett.

Snapchat Discover, in addition to nabbing a first look at the cover, also currently features an exclusive making-of video about the VF photo shoot, a story about dressing for the Oscars and past pics from Vanity Fair’s Oscar Party photo booth.

Launched a year ago, Snapchat Discover provides a dedicated section for users to access daily “stories” comprising text, photos and video, available for a 24-hour period. The company has about 20 partners for the service including People, ESPN, CNN, Food Network, BuzzFeed, Comedy Central, Vox and Vice Media.

Founded in 2011, when Spiegel was a student at Stanford U., Snapchat began life as a service that lets users send each other messages that evaporate within 10 seconds of the recipient viewing them. “People don’t want to save a permanent record of everything they talk about,” Spiegel said. Today, the platform has become a powerful platform for distributing media content, he said.

Spiegel, 25, called out the “live stories” for the 2016 election cycle being created under the purview of Snapchat head of news Peter Hamby, the former CNN political reporter who joined the company last year. That’s aimed at explaining to users why the process matters. “For us education is the first step for us to drive people to want to vote,” Spiegel said.

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