Disney-ABC Television Group will stream some new online shows on Snapchat, becoming the second national broadcaster to make a major commitment to the video-sharing service.
The first ABC series to debut on Snapchat will be a companion to matchmaking reality show “The Bachelor.” On Snapchat’s Discover feature, “Watch Party: The Bachelor” will gather celebrities, fans and former contestants and feature their reactions to episodes of the flagship show. It will air the morning after the “The Bachelor” starting next month and be available to view for a day, just like most content on Snapchat.
Disney said Wednesday producing for Snapchat would open up new advertising opportunities for its TV sponsors. Inevitably, some ad revenue will be shared with Snapchat maker Snap Inc., which is why the company struck a similar deal this year with NBC and is seeking additional content partners.
The Discover page on Snapchat’s app now will have more variety, which could please advertisers looking to reach viewers with specific interests. They’ll have three varieties of content to back: shows from the big media companies, multimedia news and entertainment digests from prominent media companies and a Snapchat-curated selection of user posts.
Snap envisions its app as the future of TV, and views ad revenue as the bedrock of its business. But the company is heavily spending to develop new products and features, eschewing profits in the process. In the place of profits, fast revenue growth could give confidence to investors weighing whether to buy Snap stock if the company goes public as expected early next year.
The Disney deal wasn’t the only advertising milestone Snap announced Wednesday. Los Angeles shopping center developer Caruso became the first big advertiser to buy a year-long geofilter. Such ads are small, location-based graphics that users can overlay on photos and videos. Caruso’s purchase means Snapchat users who visit malls including the Grove and the Americana at Brand should find geofilters there all year long.
An annual buy gives Snap a significant chunk of revenue upfront, increasing the certainty of the company’s revenue projections. Snap had previously offered only 30-day campaigns. Geofilters tied to a specific location can run thousands of dollars a day, but Snap said year-long purchasers will get a discount.
Retailers could be a big target for the new offering. Snapchat noted that a recent survey of users it commissioned found that they use Snapchat more than any other social media app while shopping, with Pinterest leading the pre-shopping experience.
By Paresh Dave