- Snapchat plans to introduce a service during the current quarter to let brands reserve and buy non-skip, six-second commercials during premium shows in the image-messaging app's Discover section. The service, called Snap Select, will have ad inventory in Snap Originals, sports programming and premium shows on a fixed cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) basis, Adweek reported.
- Snap Select will have a one-click media-buying tool, called "proposals," that will let brands review and approve ad purchases, per MediaPost. Time spent per day watching shows on Snapchat more than tripled in the past year, and about one-half of its Discover viewers in Q1 2019 watched Discover every day of the week, Snap said in a quarterly report.
- Snap Select placements will be available among shows with the biggest audiences and strongest engagement. Premium content producers on Discover include NBCUniversal, ESPN, Viacom, Hearst, BuzzFeed, Condé Nast Entertainment, the National Basketball Association and the National Football League.
Snap Select promises to give mobile marketers greater control of their video ad placements than through programmatic channels that can be less predictable. Brand safety has become a big concern for advertisers that don't want their sponsorship messages to appear amid objectionable content. Snap aims to provide more transparency to media buyers and assure them that their ads are getting placed alongside professionally created content from major publishers, studios and producers.
Snap's biggest rivals, Facebook and Google, have similar premium services for advertisers. Facebook's In-Stream Reserve, which the social network started in February for its Watch video platform, lets advertisers target audiences that are verified by audience measurement company Nielsen, per Reuters. Google Preferred aims to ensure that ads appear only in the top YouTube shows. Unlike Google Preferred, which relies on algorithms to select the videos for placements, Snap Selects will have human curators to help supervise where ads appear.
The Snap Selects offering is another sign that Snap continues to develop ways to monetize its user base, which grew in Q1 2019 after several quarters of stagnation. Snapchat's daily user base increased 2% to 190 million in the period from 186 million in the previous quarter, as the broader availability of Android app reignited growth. Snap this month announced new Snap Kit features, including App Stories capabilities that let third parties integrate Snapchat Stories into their apps. The company also revealed new augmented reality (AR) features, streamed TV shows and plans for a gaming platform.