Snap Pitches Original Shows in NewFronts Debut

Executives announced one new show and a popular renewal

purple background with purple flames that says snap originals
Snap touted its original programming in its first NewFronts bid to advertisers. Snap Inc.
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At Snap’s first-ever NewFronts presentation, the company emphasized its original programming as it deepens investments in content and advertising offerings in a bid to attract long-term commitments from sponsors.

Discover, the app’s hub for publisher video and television-style content, was on full display today as executives touted new shows and the platform’s young audience and watch time stats.

Among the original shows highlighted was a new Snap original, The Drop, an unscripted streetwear-focused show that lets users shop for apparel while they watch, said Vanessa Guthrie, Snapchat’s director of content for originals, during the panel.

She noted two recently announced originals as other ways potential partners can partner with the company, including Fake Up, a Verizon-sponsored show that lets users apply makeup using AR technology, and Move It, a dance show that uses motion-sensing to track users’ movements.

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Additionally, Guthrie said that Driven, a show about young entrepreneurs making custom cars, would return for a second season.

The company announced at its Snap Partner Summit earlier this month that two other popular shows—beauty-focused docuseries Nikita Unfiltered and zombie thriller Dead of Night—were also renewed.

As advertisers think about their media buys this week of NewFronts, they should think “video agnostic” and seek quality video content whether it appears on linear TV, a major streaming service or a social media app, Peter Naylor, Snap’s vp of sales for the Americas, told Adweek ahead of Snap’s presentation. And he’s no stranger to the discussion: Naylor arrived at Snapchat in April from the streaming giant Hulu, where he was svp and head of advertising sales.

If media buyers want to reach Snap’s audience—largely Gen Z and millennials—they should recognize that a large swath is “TV-nevers,” Naylor added. “They’re getting everything they need from their constant companion: their phone.”

Snap, which self-reports 229 million daily active users, said it reaches 90% of 13-24-year-olds in the United States and 75% of 13-34-year-olds.

Snap has been making tweaks to better capture those consumers, including a reorganization of its app around an Action Bar, a move that will make it easier to navigate Discover content.

The company had already seen higher engagement ahead of that change, with 35% growth in time spent on all Discover content in the past year, said Rachel Richardson, Snap’s head of editorial.

Snap has touted a series of new, premium ad products in the last year: Snap Select, which lets advertisers buy six-second ads on premium Discover shows; Extended Play, a longer format where commercials can run for up to three minutes after the six-second no-skip period; and First Commercial, a takeover product where advertisers can buy the first ad any user sees when they click a Discover show for a 24-hour period.

The company also emphasized its corporate responsibility at a time when most major social media companies are under fire for hate speech and racism on their apps. Snapchat has avoided most criticism about the spread of misinformation, as the platform has no central news feed and publisher content is curated. The company recently apologized for a tone-deaf Juneteenth AR lens that urged users to smile and “break the chains” of bondage.

While Facebook has come under fire for allowing President Donald Trump to incite violence and spread false messages in paid ads, Snapchat executives said the company would no longer promote the president on Discover due to his rhetoric.

Snapchat has also placed an emphasis on registering users to vote, having registered 450,000 via TurboVote ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Roughly 260,000 actually voted as a result, the company said in May.

@ScottNover Scott Nover is a platforms reporter at Adweek, covering social media companies and their influence.
Publish date: June 23, 2020 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT