Viewership on Snapchat’s Original Content Shows Promise

Snap held its Q2 2018 earnings call today and it was a mixed bag of emotions for the company. While it revealed an impressive 44% rise in revenue Y/Y, the company also announced a 3 million drop in DAUs Q/Q, as it attempts to compete with Instagram. One main feature Snapchat has been investing in to give it an advantage in this fight is its Discover Section.

The section houses a slate of Snapchat Original Series and Snapchat Channels belonging to networks and studios like NBC and Elizabeth Murdoch’s Vertical Networks. While Speigel didn’t have much to say about the Discover Section, he did state in his opening remarks that the number of people that watch Publisher Stories and Shows on iOS every day has grown by more than 15 percent this year.

“Additionally, more Snaps from publisher stories and shows were viewed in July than any other month in our history,” added the CEO. Additionally, in Q2 2018, 11 Shows reached a monthly audience of over 10 million users, up from 7 in Q1 2018.

This increase in viewership is a promising sign for the company, which has been itching for a way to attract more advertisers to its platform. Between November 2017 and January 2018, just 397 brands bought video ads on Snapchat Discover channels, according to advertising intelligence platform MediaRadar. It’s a small number when compared to Facebook, which has more than 5 million advertisers; Twitter, which reported having 130,000 advertisers at the end of 2015; and Instagram, which has over half a million advertisers.

Speigel didn’t give much detail about his future plans for the Discover section or how much money the company planned to invest in its original content. Current shows in the section include “The Rundown” and “Face Forward” from E! News, “Stay Tuned” from NBC News, “Sports Center” from ESPN, “Phone Swap” and “Ghost Hunt” from Vertical Networks, which garner a combined 15 million views an episode.

read more here: thevideoink.com

Soon Every Social Media Platform Will Look Like Every Other One

– by David Bloom

If this year’s VidCon is any guide, its very busy organizers will soon have a much less difficult time deciding which of the many social-media platforms it should feature in coming editions of the conference. At the rate things are going, all the sites will look alike anyway.

As it was, this year’s online influencer gathering featured tens of thousands of fans, dozens of panels and performances, and all the usual big platforms alongside newcomers such as LinkedIn and Twitch. Many platforms had news to tout, but too often, their “news” sounded very familiar.

Video? Check. Long-form video? Check. Disappearing posts? Messaging? Live Video? Monetization tools? Check, check, check. And yes, check.

Call it the Big Schmear. The “cream cheese” of content and services on your favorite big bagel of a social-media platform will soon be festooned with pretty much every ingredient that everyone else has on theirs. And if anyone comes up with a new idea, everyone else will be quick to take a bite, by buying or copying it.

Everyone Wants To Be Everyone Else

That creeping, slightly creepy convergence was a constant source of conversation among those I talked with throughout the show. We were all discussing the implications of recent news like:

– Instagram announced IGTV, a standalone (though tightly integrated) mobile app for video posts of up to an hour. The goal: to be more like YouTube, and because it’s a mobile-friendly vertical format, Snapchat.
– YouTube announced more and more widely available monetization tools for its creators, including merchandising, subscription memberships, and event ticketing. The goal: to be more like Twitch. Musical.Ly and others with plentiful ways for creators to cash in on their audiences. .
– Twitch owner Amazon debuted its Merch merchandise fulfillment service, and spotlighted licensed goodies from veteran online stars Hannah Hart and Shane Dawson. Amazon also sponsored an “industry lounge” on the show’s top floor that fed and watered many brand and online-video executives. The lounge showed off even more Amazon offerings, like Handmade, a product service that seems a lot like Etsy.
– Snapchat extended its Shows, short-form episodic videos used heretofore by big publishers, to creators such as makeup guru Patrick Starrr. Snapchat also will begin sharing ad revenue with its influencers. The goal: to be more influencer friendly, like YouTube and Instagram.
– Facebook launched FB.GG, which gathers the site’s game-related creators and content in one place. The goal: to be more like Twitch and Gaming.YouTube.

These are only the latest lurches toward feature convergence. Most notoriously, of course, Facebook and its various holdings have been shamelessly copying every useful bit of Snapchat. In a minor moment of karmic justice, the copying hasn’t forestalled the flight of teens from Facebook.

In the past couple of years, Facebook also launched Watch (to be more like YouTube and Netflix) and Live (to keep up with Twitch, YouNow, LiveMe and similar players). More recently, Facebook commissioned CNN, ABC News, and other traditional media sites to create Watch-specific news shows. This may be another Facebook copycat move, given the notable, if uneven, success of news outlets on Snapchat Discover.

I’m dubious about all these #IAlso initiatives. It doesn’t take much innovation to straight copy Snapchat Stories, especially when your version even uses the same name, as on Instagram. Conversely, fans haven’t punished Instagram, which announced that it now has 1 billion users, up 200 million just since last fall.

Does More Make You Better?

The bigger question, of course, is whether adding everyone else’s features makes your favorite platform any better, or any more of a destination, or for that matter, any better a place for an influencer to ply her trade, or to cut a deal with a brand.

Every successful platform to date was built on its own unique DNA, the user interface and mechanics that made it work for the audience it created and the influencers who rose to prominence there. Doing a Jurassic Park on that DNA, extracting and bolting on the features of another platform to create some bellowing hybrid beast, doesn’t automatically translate to new fans or a better experience for anybody.

Now admittedly, not everyone at VidCon was as concerned as I am. One panel of industry notables was asked, “do all the platforms have to evolve to do everything?” Maybe not, some said.

Ivana Kirkbride, GM of OTT for Verizon’s Oath unit, insisted that “every platform serves a specific purpose.” Even look-alike functions manifest in different ways on different platforms, she said. “Facebook Watch is a very different experience” from YouTube, Netflix, Snapchat, traditional TV or even whatever IG TV becomes.

I’m certainly willing to accord Kirkbride some deference, given her run as a top executive at YouTube and Vessel before taking over Verizon’s Go90 unit and now all of its over-the-top video initiatives.

And long-time media critic and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis suggested that we’re only beginning to see what’s possible with online video, as it transforms nearly every corner of the media business, bringing lots of opportunity for more features and engagement in the future.

Things Are Looking Good For Influencers, But Diversification Still Key
I do expect, however, that the coming convergence means a lot more work for influencers themselves, and probably far less clarity about where they should devote their efforts.

Late on Day 2, I slipped into a standing-room-only workshop on branded content featuring influencer Brent Rivera and WhoSay Executive VP of Talent Harvey Schwartz. The workshop detailed the kinds of clever cross-platform posting and marketing strategies that influencers and advertisers must use in an era where, as Schwartz put it, “organic reach is dead.”

The highly technical conversation was not for neophytes. But it reminded me how far the industry has come in just a few years. In a conference room far above the milling crowds of pre-pubescent fans on the first floor of the Anaheim Convention Center, two of online video’s more prominent members talked about the science of online influence.

read more here: tubefilter.com

Teens leaving Facebook for YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat

Until recently, Facebook had dominated the social media landscape among America’s youth – but it is no longer the most popular online platform among teens, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Today, roughly half (51 per cent) of US teens ages 13 to 17 say they use Facebook, notably lower than the shares who use YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat.

This shift in teens’ social media use is just one example of how the technology landscape for young people has evolved since the Center’s last survey of teens and technology use in 2014-2015. Most notably, smartphone ownership has become a nearly ubiquitous element of teen life: 95 per cent of teens now report they have a smartphone or access to one. These mobile connections are in turn fuelling more-persistent online activities: 45 per cent of teens now say they are online on a near-constant basis.

The survey also finds there is no clear consensus among teens about the effect that social media has on the lives of young people today. Minorities of teens describe that effect as mostly positive (31 per cent) or mostly negative (24 per cent), but the largest share (45 per cent) says that effect has been neither positive nor negative.

These are some of the main findings from the Center’s survey of US teens conducted in March and April 2018. Throughout the report, “teens” refers to those ages 13 to 17.

Facebook is no longer the dominant online platform among teens

The social media landscape in which teens reside looks markedly different than it did as recently as three years ago. In the Center’s 2014-2015 survey of teen social media use, 71 per cent of teens reported being Facebook users. No other platform was used by a clear majority of teens at the time: Around half (52 per cent) of teens said they used Instagram, while 41 per cent reported using Snapchat.

In 2018, three online platforms other than Facebook – YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat – are used by sizable majorities of this age group. Meanwhile, 51 per cent of teens now say they use Facebook. The shares of teens who use Twitter and Tumblr are largely comparable to the shares who did so in the 2014-2015 survey.

For the most part, teens tend to use similar platforms regardless of their demographic characteristics, but there are exceptions. Notably, lower-income teens are more likely to gravitate toward Facebook than those from higher-income households – a trend consistent with previous Center surveys. Seven-in-ten teens living in households earning less than $30,000 a year say they use Facebook, compared with 36 per cent whose annual family income is $75,000 or more.

It is important to note there were some changes in question wording between Pew Research Center’s 2014-2015 and 2018 surveys of teen social media use. YouTube and Reddit were not included as options in the 2014-2015 survey but were included in the current survey. In addition, the 2014-2015 survey required respondents to provide an explicit response for whether or not they used each platform, while the 2018 survey presented respondents with a list of sites and allowed them to select the ones they use. Even so, it is clear the social media environment today revolves less around a single platform than it did three years ago.

When it comes to which one of these online platforms teens use the most, roughly one-third say they visit Snapchat (35 per cent) or YouTube (32 per cent) most often, while 15 per cent say the same of Instagram. By comparison, 10 per cent of teens say Facebook is their most-used online platform, and even fewer cite Twitter, Reddit or Tumblr as the site they visit most often.

read more here: advanced-television.com

Snapchat Ad Length: In Average about 8 Seconds Long

Advertising intelligence company MediaRadar has analyzed Snapchat brand activity and issued a report showing that the average Snapchat ad length is eight seconds.

No other social platform makes it as easy to bypass video ads, so marketers need to grab the viewers’ attention by the first frame. Simply tapping on a Snapchat ad lets viewers bypass it and get on to something they’d rather watch. Some Snapchat advertisers are running ads that are less than 5 seconds long, says MediaRadar. The majority of ads on the platform-60 percent-are between 8 and 10 seconds long.

MediaRadar also looked at where advertisers put their ads on Snapchat. Some of the platform’s Discover channels are far more popular than others. For example, the iHeartRadio channel was the most popular, getting placements from 61 advertisers. The CNN channel was the least popular. It’s no surprise, then, that CNN ended its Snapchat Discover channel in late December.

The data MediaRadar looked at was for ad placements carried out through its platform from November 2017 through January 2018. In that timeframe, 397 brands placed video ads on 52 Discover channels. The average buy was for 4 or 5 channels, and the largest was for 29 channels.

“We found almost no examples of a brand buying across all of a single publisher’s Snapchat channels. For example, no advertiser buys both Wired and Vogue (Condé Nast), or Cosmo and Esquire (Hearst). This reinforces the idea that buys are gender targeted,” MediaRadar’s report says.

Brand categories advertising on Snapchat most often are media and entertainment (48 percent), technology (13 percent), and retail (12 percent).

For data on much more than just the average Snapchat ad length, download “MediaRadar’s Snapchat Snapshot” for free.

read more here: onlinevideo.net

Snapchat is The Next Must-See TV Network

by Anupam Gupta

Snap was recently in the headlines with disappointing financials for its second quarter in a row, but the company is already one step ahead thinking of ways to overhaul the app to make it easier for consumers to engage with and use. Rethinking the way Snapchat works could open up a huge audience of new users – or, even better, a new purpose for the platform.

Today’s marketers (and investors) are looking at Snapchat as a social media platform versus taking into consideration Snap’s advancements in other areas of technology, such as augmented reality and original content. These characteristics resonate best with TV, so why aren’t we comparing it more to the big screen? Recent deals with top TV networks, such as Turner, NBCU and Discovery Communications, suggest there is a strength beyond what meets the social-media eye.

I’m not the only one seeing this angle. Industry experts from Forrester suggest that Snapchat could compete with the likes of Viacom’s networks, including VH1, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, which generated $4.8 billion in ad revenue last year. And recently, the Television Academy signed a three-year contract to expand coverage by creating Snap Stories that capture personal and behind-the-scenes moments at the Emmys.

To put Snap in the proper context, think back to the era of “Must-See TV” where families sat down at the same time each night to tune in to the most-watched, most-popular TV show of the time. It was much easier then for brands and advertisers to operate. Brands could showcase their new product or service to people who were fully engaged in one program for a specific amount of time, and they could do so without multiscreen distractions. It was the era of putting great creative in front of a large audience, in an attempt to convince some of them to add the product or service to tomorrow’s shopping list.

We’ve gone a little off course since then, thanks to the evolution of multi-screening, streaming and recording and on-demand services. These advancements have been great for consumers, but have in turn made the jobs of many TV buyers a lot harder, nearly stripping them of the control they once had. Until now.

With Snapchat, everyday users, publishers or celebrities can post their own content in real time to millions of global viewers who are constantly scrolling through their feeds searching for their next unwatched story. It’s addicting. And it’s keeping users’ attention on the small screen at a time when 47% of millenials and Gen Xers are unreachable by traditional TV measurements.

So what does this mean for advertisers? Don’t treat Snap like a social network. The same creative that works on Facebook and Twitter will not work here. The ad format is different. The audience is different, and the context is different. Think about what engages people on the big screen. It’s about storytelling. Brands must bring their best sight, sound and motion, and pack it in under 10 seconds.

Furthermore, measurement of Snap Ads should be more akin to television. Think about reach and frequency against the target audience. Track engagement rates and benchmark against video ads on other channels.

read more here: adexchanger.com

YouTube’s Teen Viewers Complain of Too Many Ads

YouTube is accessed daily by more US teens than any other social platform, but these viewers also say it has too many ads.

More than four in 10 teen YouTube users ages 12 to 17 say there are too many ads on the platform, according to a January 2017 survey from Forrester Research. eMarketer projects that 23.2 million 12- to 17-year-olds will watch digital video monthly this year.

Snapchat and Instagram were tied as the two platforms teens were least likely to feel had too many ads. Just over one in 10 teen users of each platform complained about excessive ads.

But a heavy ad load hasn’t deterred teens from using YouTube. The study also found that 77% of teens use it daily, compared with 55% who use Facebook, the second most popular social network among the demographic.

Teens appear willing to put up with ads on YouTube, along with other services like Facebook, which 26% of users said had too many ads.

The type of ad being served may have an effect on whether or not teen users notice how plentiful those ads might be.

“Teens might think there are too many ads on YouTube because YouTube ads are pre-roll or sometimes mid-roll video ads that users have to either watch, or click to skip after a few seconds,” said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer.

“They may be more likely to skim right by ads that appear on Facebook or other social platforms, as the ads are native to the service,” she said.

An earlier study by IPG Media Lab and YuMe found that pre-roll ads—the kind commonly served on YouTube—were considered the least interruptive video format by US internet users overall.

read more here:

https://www.emarketer.com/Article/YouTubes-Teen-Viewers-Complain-of-Too-Many-Ads/1016436

CNN launches daily show on Snapchat

CNN this week kicked off a new daily second-day news program on Snapchat.

“The Update” will air weekdays at 6 p.m. ET and will feature news and updates from CNN staff reporters.

“Since launching content on Snapchat, we have believed in the importance of giving our community access to accurate and authoritative news coverage, and CNN has played an important part in that from the beginning,” said Sean Mills, senior director of content programming for Snapchat, in a statement.

“In today’s news environment, people are hungry for news and they want a quick update of where things are at within one tap of their phone. So, we’re serving that up, speaking their language and delivering it in beautiful, vertical, mobile friendly video,” said Samantha Barry, executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN, in a statement.

CNN’s daily news show comes after NBC already earlier this year launched its own daily news program on the platform.

“Stay Tuned,” which airs on NBC at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST on weekdays and 1 p.m. EST on weekends, has already reportedly had success in attracting a large audience. The companies last week announced that the show has pulled in 29 million unique viewers since launching in July.

For NBC, the Snapchat show launch coincides with the company’s $500 million strategic investment in Snap.

NBCU CEO Steve Burke called the Snap investment part of the company’s strategy to invest in digital growth, which includes NBCU’s recent $400 million investment in BuzzFeed and $200 million investment in Vox.

read more here:
http://www.fiercecable.com/broadcasting/cnn-launches-daily-show-snapchat

Does Snapchat See A Google-Like Search Opportunity?

by Laurie Sullivan

Apparently search has become an underlying focus for Snapchat. Cofounder and CEO Evan Spiegel, in his opening remarks during the Q2 2017 earnings call, mentioned the feature several times. When asked by an analyst to elaborate on search within Snapchat, Spiegel said it’s still early days with search on the platform as people learn they can search for stories and not just friends. He also noted that there are great opportunities to explore.

“The pre-type experience that we’ve [added] when you tap into search is a really important part of the learning process and I think we’re getting better at showing really interesting content depending on who you are,” Spiegel said.
Snapchat introduced Universal Search in January to simplify navigation within the app. The feature amounts to a search bar to help brands build an audience and quickly allow users to find the best content and conversations related to their specific preferences.

The company also has begun to focus on connecting and measuring the effectiveness of its online advertising with offline sales. It created an offline sales measurement systems with the acquisition of Placed in June. With Placed, the company’s goal is to measure activities such as store visits and offline purchases which prove that digital ads drive sales for advertisers.

As search becomes a visual medium with trillions of photos, it has become more important for social platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest to improve their respective search tools.
The ability to search for content within Snapchat could dramatically improve options for brands. Google reportedly will prove that theory with a tool it calls Stamp.

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported on Google’s development of an AMP-powered Snapchat-like “discovery tool” called Stamp, but we have yet to hear directly from the Mountain View, California, company as to whether the report will become a reality.

One of the main features, per reports, would be that it ties into Google’s search engine, giving publishers a built-in audience for Stamp stories. The Stamp versions of stories would serve in Google search results, or within other Google products.

Jason Beckerman, CEO and cofounder at Unified, which focuses on social advertising, says the only way for Google to increase market share from Facebook is to add social features that include video and images to the feed, much more than what YouTube can offer.

Beckerman, musing, points to Snapchat’s video ads served between social snapshots from users. “The ability to buy inventory within the feed is very attractive to brands,” he said.

read more here:

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/305665/does-snapchat-see-a-google-like-search-opportunity.html?edition=104655

Why the Digital Brand-Safety Panic Won’t Help TV in the End

Many of the digital ads served on dominant social platforms like Facebook are adjacent to original or shared news content. But that’s the opposite of TV, where safer scripted shows and live sports dominate ad spending. News, financially, is a blip.

Now a big pivot is under way. Just as the big TV networks’ annual upfront pitches to advertisers get underway, the major digital platforms are gunning for entertainment. Their goal, in part, is to create a much safer environment for brands where adjacency isn’t an unfortunate bug, but rather a feature. Like TV. It eliminates the odds of being next to extremist, critical or polarizing content, not to mention so-called fake news.
It will also increasingly undermine TV’s ability to differentiate itself by saying its shows are the only brightly lit entertainment options out there.

Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube are now somewhat quietly engaged in a footrace to create the best feed for free, high-quality entertainment video content. Some of it live. Some of it scripted. Much of it ad supported.

Facebook, for example, in February hired MTV executive vice president Mina Lefevre to build out the social network’s original programming.

Snapchat, which has long been building out its Discover platform for professional publishers, in March signed a deal with Mark Burnett’s production company to create original shows for Discover.
YouTube just told ad buyers that it is creating six original series with brand-friendly stars like Kevin Hart and Katy Perry, not to mention even more for its paid service YouTube Red.

And Twitter at its first-ever NewFront rolled out 16 streaming video partnerships — many of them focused on lifestyle, sports and entertainment. (Though news is still there.)

This pivot to showbiz is not just a play to capture higher video ad rates. It’s meant to loosen the flow of advertising out of TV overall and into digital platforms.

This is happening but not fast enough. In 2016, according to Zenith, linear TV still accounted for 42% of ad spend. Further, Magna said that TV still remains quite strong in luxury.

Brand-safe entertainment content can speed the flow of these dollars. What’s more, it can create a more attractive free alternative to paid video subscription services like Netflix and and HBO Now that are popular, in part, because there are no ads.

read more here:

http://adage.com/article/steve-rubel/brand-safety-panic-online/308993/

Will Snapchat’s Data Play Fend Off Competition?

Wall Street investors seem undecided about whether Snapchat is indeed the wave of the future or just a flash in the pan.

But one month after its IPO, the messaging app’s execs are doggedly focused on broadening Snapchat’s appeal to brands—notably direct response-minded companies.

“Snapchat has a perfect opportunity to become a direct response powerhouse, especially for location-based marketing to millennials,” said David Deal, digital marketing consultant. “Though Snapchat needs to mine data about millennials more effectively to beat Facebook and Instagram.”

To that end, effective April 3, millennial marketers will be able to zero in on Snapchat users who are most likely to download their brand’s app, targeting slivers or swaths of the platform’s 160 million users who have shown interest in either the brand or the functionality it’s offering. These app-install ads allow the marketer to set cost-per-download goals in a measure that’s designed to get app marketers of all budgets into Snapchat’s business client pool.

Snapchat, part of Snap Inc., has ramped up its machine-learning and audience-segmenting capabilities for app installs since its beta product went live in October—to date, it had offered only rudimentary targeting tools to a select number of brands. The new system charges ad buyers on a cost-per-thousand-impressions scale that’s based on auction-style, competitive bidding. “[It’s a] cost-efficient way to drive app installs right from Snapchat,” explained Peter Sellis, Snap’s director of monetization product.

Also today, brands can serve follow-up ads (re-marketing, in industry parlance) to those who have interacted with Snapchat’s sponsored lenses, geofilters or videos. Such behavioral data can be employed to reel in everything from a fitness app download, to a test-drive appointment for an automaker to a shoe purchase via ecommerce. The company believes advertisers will want to take aim at consumers in what direct response practitioners call the “consideration stage.”

“We’ve been listening closely to direct response advertisers,” Sellis revealed.

He’s listening for good reason: eMarketer’s latest figures for 2016 had the U.S. app-install advertising space valued at $5.7 billion. Facebook has reportedly, at times, seen up to 20 percent of its ad revenue, which totaled nearly $26.9 billion last year, from app installs. Google is increasingly a huge app-install contender, and Pinterest just last week rolled out its own app-install ads system. So, Snapchat’s competition is fierce.

“Right now, Snapchat doesn’t move users outside its own environment, so we would expect a longer time for user behavior to adapt,” remarked Emmy Spahr, media director at SapientRazorfish. “Pinterest, on the other hand, actively works across other websites and shopping experiences, so users are already engaging with the platform and websites—adding app downloads here would be seen as a value add.”

read more here:

http://www.adweek.com/digital/will-snapchats-data-play-help-fend-off-competition-from-facebook-and-instagram/