Viacom targets teens in expanded Snapchat partnership
- Viacom and Snapchat expanded their partnership to develop more content for the image-messaging app's audience of more than 187 million users, according to Adweek. Viacom will create new shows and more Our Stories from its MTV, BET and Comedy Central networks for Snapchat's Discover section that features professionally produced content.
- MTV plans to bring back two series, Girl Code and Cribs, to Snapchat and debut Promposal, a show about elaborate ways teens ask each other to prom. Viacom also will produce more Our Stories to highlight red carpet events like the Kids' Choice Awards, VMAs and MTV TV & Movie Awards.
- Chris McCarthy, president of MTV, said the network is making a greater push to reach users ages 12-17 through digital and social media, Adweek reported. Viacom will sell advertising in the programs and share revenue with Snapchat, while continuing to produce daily MTV channels in the U.S. and France as well as an international edition.
While Facebook is the most popular social network among age groups older than 18, Snapchat clearly holds sway among the up-and-coming Gen Z audience, offering an advantage in reaching elusive, often ad-averse audiences like teens. Viacom appears to be reworking its strategy to focus more heavily on this young audience. The company's latest news builds on a marketing and content partnership with Snapchat that goes back several years as the media giant seeks to reach younger audiences that are more likely to consume entertainment on mobile devices.
The duo first worked together in 2015 with a Live Story for MTV's Video Music Awards. Taco Bell, Verizon, American Legacy and Covergirl sponsored the Live Story, which is Snapchat's format for stringing together a sequence of photos or videos at a particular event or place that all users in the area can view and contribute to. This week's announcement extends an agreement between Viacom and Snapchat from 2016. At that time, the companies formed a multiyear deal where Viacom sold Snapchat ads, created channels for Discover and created original programming specifically for the social media app. Snapchat in the past two years has also teamed with ESPN, Scripps, Discovery, Vice, NBCUniversal and others to beef up its original content.
Video programmers have had mixed success on Snapchat, at least when it comes to news programming. NBC News was pleased that it signed up 4 million subscribers in five months to its "Stay Tuned" show, per Digiday. More than half of that audience watched three or more episodes a week, NBC News said. In December, CNN canceled "The Update," a show similar to "Stay Tuned" that it started producing for Snapchat just a few months earlier. CNN said the program failed to generate enough advertising revenue to sustain itself.