Marketing Outlaw: DJ Khaled

Via DJ Khaled’s Instagram

Moving forward I’m going to stop calling the franchise “Outlaw of the Week.” I see a lot of outlaw moments throughout the week that I can’t wait another week to include.

Yes, Snapchat gawd and producer/DJ DJ Khaled is a marketing outlaw. He deserves this title because he has managed to channel his personality into a successful franchise on Snapchat. As of Monday, he was signed to Roc Nation.

Why This Is Important

Listen, I don’t know the details behind his Roc Nation deal, I don’t know if he’s going to produce content for Tidal, I don’t even know if he’s now an in-house music producer — that doesn’t really matter at the moment. What matters is that he is a content creator who has taken advantage of a social media platform in a way that many other artists/celebs haven’t.

Sure it’s unclear if he’s directly monetized (DJ Khaled if you’re reading this, you may want to have a convo with Evan about getting your own channel, #jussayin). Be clear, there are media networks who get channels on Snapchat that get kicked off because they aren’t producing content at the rate they need to be. This dude DJ Khaled has people watching his slippers when he wakes up to water the grass.

His slippers, b. Like his camera is facing his slippers as he walks to the patio muttering “Bless up.” He’s turned that phrase into a viral hit and has co-opted the key emoji as his. To top it off, he has an e-commerce site with products (including the slippers) that feature the same phrases and imagery (including his trademark phrases like “Another one!”) that are the running themes of his Snapchat.


The most interesting part of this is how Khaled made this pivot. If you know his music, than you know he was the producer that helped establish acts like Rick Ross and Ace Hood. He was known for putting out these summertime hip hop anthem that featured every hot rapper at the moment on one track. Now he’s known for motivational short-form content. It’s pretty savvy on his part.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Snapchat begins developing its in-house channels and creates its own ad platform. They could also look at the data to determine which users are most engaged and have a strong following and provide a channel for them — and monetize. When that does happen, I can assure you DJ Khaled will be on line in his shorts and sandals, rubbing his hands and ready to pounce at the opportunity. 🔑 🙏

**UPDATE: DJ Khaled will be gracing the cover of the next Bloomberg Business magazine**

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