The FINANCIAL — Viacom and Snapchat on February 9 announced an unprecedented global partnership that capitalizes on and extends the unique expertise of both companies to creatively and authentically speak to millennial and post-millennial audiences.
The wide-ranging deal, anchored in both content production and advertising sales, will bring two high profile channels to Snapchat Discover — a Comedy Central International channel and an MTV Channel in the U.S., which will complement the already successful Comedy Central and MTV International Discover channels. The agreement also grants Viacom the right to sell Snapchat’s U.S. owned and operated advertising inventory, allowing Viacom to offer even more value to television advertisers who want to add Snapchat’s wildly popular premium video platform to the media mix. In addition, Viacom also has agreed to provide Snapchat with expanded access so Snapchat can produce Live Stories covering more of Viacom’s tent pole events, according to Viacom.
“Viacom and Snapchat naturally complement each other in significant ways that make us ideal partners in both content and business development,” said Wade Davis, Chief Financial Officer, Viacom. “Snapchat captures young audiences on an intimate and immersive mobile video platform while Viacom is the leader in premium long- and short-form storytelling for these same audiences. Add in Viacom’s custom marketing solutions and commitment to evolve our global mobile strategy and you’ve got a partnership that is great for both companies, for advertisers, and is a real evolution of the marketplace.”
In addition to selling its advertising alongside its own content on Snapchat Discover, Viacom will now also have the right to sell Snapchat’s U.S. owned and operated ad inventory, which includes ads in ongoing Stories such as “New York,” capturing daily happenings in New York City, and non-partnered holiday Live Stories, such as “Valentine’s Day.” Viacom is the only television company to have this arrangement with Snapchat.
“Snapchat provides the best storytelling experience on mobile. Through this partnership with Viacom, we can now offer television advertisers a way to tell their stories across television and mobile in a frictionless way,” said Imran Khan, Snapchat’s Chief Strategy Officer.
On the content side of the deal, Viacom will further invest in the creation of original premium video content specifically for Snapchat Discover, reinforcing Viacom’s innovative approach and dedication to delivering fans globally the content they want wherever they want to consume it. While MTV International and Comedy Central have previously been committed to creating original content on Discover, additional resources will now be put towards the launch of an MTV US Channel and a Comedy Central International channel on the platform.
MTV’s new Snapchat Discover channel will feature a wide range of content created exclusively for the platform and updated daily. At launch on Tuesday, February 9, this includes MTV News articles and video with design and art direction unique to Snapchat, exclusive celebrity interviews, and more. MTV is also developing additional Snapchat-native content, including brand-new original series and reinvented MTV fan-favorite franchises for the platform. More details on original programming will be announced at a later date.
Comedy Central will launch internationally on Snapchat Discover on Wednesday, February 10, delivering always funny content to fans globally. The new international channel will serve Snapchat users daily doses of comedy, from curated “WTF News” articles and exclusive videos with their favorite comedians to upcoming original series set to debut on Snapchat Discover in the coming year. Since its U.S. launch in January 2015, the Comedy Central channel on Snapchat Discover has become a vibrant pipeline for Comedy Central to develop fresh comedic voices and original content. It is one of the most popular brands on the platform.
Another key element of the Viacom/Snapchat partnership will leverage Snapchat’s Live Stories, which are curated collections of user-submitted content covering major events and places around the world. Through the partnership, Snapchat will have unique access to cover Viacom’s one-of-a-kind, tentpole events, such as MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs), BET Experience, and MTV’s EMAs.
The deal grew organically out of a dynamic Viacom/Snapchat relationship, including many custom advertising campaigns created by in-house creative agency Viacom Velocity that ran in Snapchat Discover, as well as “break-the-internet” level of fan engagement for Viacom events covered by Snapchat Live Stories and Snapchat Discover channels launched a year ago.