TV brands looking to extend reach, content turn to Snapchat

Dive Brief:

  • The Recording Academy is tapping Snapchat for a campaign to interest younger demographics in the upcoming 59th Grammy Awards on Feb. 12, according to Digiday.
  • A four-part, man-on-the-street video series called "Pop Before the Drop" has been airing on the platform. The show stars a YouTube influencer and the first two episodes have already garnered half a million viewers, per Digiday. 
  • Separately, BBC Worldwide partnered with Snapchat for a "Planet Earth II" six-episode show that will run before the nature documentary makes it to TV, according to Variety. The six-episode series, featuring footage not seen on TV, will only be available to U.S. and Canada users and was created in the vertical video format specifically for Snapchat. 

Dive Insight:

Blockbuster events like the Grammys or even BBC's widely-acclaimed "Planet Earth" series were once a lock for reaching a large audience, and while they continue to attract millions, overall TV ratings have been down in recent years as trends like cord-cutting have picked up traction. Just look at the Super Bowl, the pinnacle of destination viewing: Recent Burson-Marsteller research shows that 77% of surveyed millennials would be interested in a live streaming option rather than watching the game on cable. 

Snapchat's audience is millennial-heavy, so leveraging original content on the platform may convince some users to switch on the tube come Grammy night or for the "Planet Earth II" premiere. Having a YouTube star host the Grammy tie-in show is a savvy move on the part of the Recording Academy, as social influencers are shown to connect with young demographics, sometimes more so than traditional brand ambassadors.

BBC is also smart to offer exclusive "Planet Earth" content on Snapchat, giving fans of the show an extra fix. Whether users more accustomed to using Snapchat for quick, ephemeral video messages will tune in for a longer piece of video content is a question broadcasters are likely anticipating with bated breath. 

Snapchat, in general, has been building out its TV-like offerings in the hopes of extending its value past user messaging. The app has deals in place with both Turner and Disney to produce original series. Michael Lynton, the former CEO of Sony Entertainment, also recently stepped down from his position to serve as chairman of the board for Snap Inc., Snapchat's parent company.  

Snap recently publicly filed for an IPO expected for March. 

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Filed Under: Social Media Trends Video Mobile
Top image credit: Flickr