Snapchat renews Emmy coverage as Comedy Central pulls Discover plug
- Snapchat, the video-messaging application with 166 million users, renewed its partnership with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to create exclusive content for the Emmy Awards for the next three years, Variety reported. Snapchat will continue to present curated Stories of personal and behind-the-scenes moments at the annual awards show.
- Lyft, TracFone Wireless, Gap and FX, the last of which ran ads promoting "Atlanta" and "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," sponsored Snapchat's Emmy-related coverage ahead of the Sept. 17 ceremony on Sunday. Snapchat also ran three collections of "Our Stories," a feature that lets several users post images and videos to the same shareable collection. Like all Stories on the platform, public users can view the content on the app for 24 hours.
- In related Snap news, Comedy Central will no longer produce daily content for Snapchat Discover after Sept. 30. Instead, the comedy network is said to be in talks with Snapchat to produce an original show for the platform, Business Insider reported.
Live events like the Emmy Awards are an essential way to engage audiences on social media, especially as the telecast of the program continues to see shrinking relevance with younger audiences. Last year, ABC's 68th Emmy broadcast saw its audience plunge 22% to an all-time low of 11.3 million viewers in the coveted 18-49 demographic.
Snapchat's audience tends to consist of young adults and teens, but that popularity hasn't helped the Emmys regain its foothold as those groups find programming to watch on smartphones and other digital screens. Still, there's a clear brand interest in leveraging the app to attract those same eyeballs, as evidenced by the heavy presence of Lyft, TracFone Wireless, Gap and FX.
Snapchat has produced special coverage for other awards shows including the Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes and MTV Video Music Awards. Snapchat's 37 Our Stories for awards shows attracted a total audience of 88.5 million unique viewers in 2016, per Variety. This year, Snapchat doubled its content with 69 Our Stories for awards shows. More than 90% of the users who tune into Snapchat's awards coverage are under 35, which signals a clear audience base the platform is customizing mobile content for.
While Snapchat may not help the Emmy's TV broadcast grow its audience, the mobile app can engage fans on a deeper level. People who tune into the Emmys to root for their favorite shows or to see the fanfare, fashion and celebrities are more likely to seek out ways to participate via social media channels like Snapchat and Twitter.
Though awards show coverage seems to be a winning tactic for Snapchat, the Comedy Central news demonstrates how some partner networks are refocusing their video strategy to original shows as opposed to repurposed or tie-in content. Many of Comedy Central's Snapchat Discover stories were spin-offs of existing programs like "Key & Peele" or "The Daily Show," per Business Insider, and the pivot to entirely new series for Snapchat better the app's content strategy with competitor platforms like Facebook Watch.