The pace of new advertising and content initiatives, just from the latter months of 2014 to today, is a dramatic indicator of online video’s drift.
Snapchat is the latest, and maybe the most surprising, to announce it will begin what might be called Snapchat Discover, a new publishing stream. It hopes to find traction and advertising on a site that is specifically built for brevity and the fleeting attention span of its mostly young users, who by repute (and probably by repute only) come to Snapchat mainly for sexting.
The Discover idea was first floated a few months ago. Now, according to the Verge and others, Snapchat will begin creating content by the end of the month, after doing some earlier trials. The Verge reports: “The company certainly appears to be going all-in on its media division, with writers and videographers hired from News Corp, MTV, and — in the case of our friend and ex-colleague Ellis Hamburger — The Verge itself.”
Meanwhile, the blogging-centric Tumblr has now created Creatrs Network — that missing vowel thing only works once, I thnk — that will connect Tumblr bloggers with brands that want to use their expertise to create content. The idea has been around for a year or so, says Wired.com, which notes AT&T Universal Pictures and Gap have already plugged into this arrangement.
“The appeal for artists is obvious,” writes Issie Lapowsky for Wired. “This network gives them access to potentially gargantuan audiences they probably never would have reached otherwise, and Tumblr pays the artists their regular rate for the work. And for brands, Tumblr is promising access to the very artists who have helped make Tumblr a user-engagement powerhouse.”
Without having an assignment from The New Yorker to think it through, it’s difficult to figure what creates a tipping point, but pro-online-content creation moves by HBO, CBS. Conde Nast, Disney’s acquisition of Maker Studios and more helps open eyes wide. So does a generally improving economy and the robust sale of smart TVs.
Investors.com also points to the uptick in Facebook native ad hosting, which is truly a huge driver. The financial cite notes RBC Royal Bank estimates that Facebook will sell a stunning $700 million in native video ads this year. Another report says native video advertising will reach $18.4 billion by 2019, from “just” $5.4 billion in 2014.
Those native videos are only going to be placed where consumers are watching other video content as well, which is how the how video world goes. TV programs just separate the commercials; online, new players seem to be quickly joining in.