Commentary

SnapChat Testing "Commercials"

According to Digiday’s weekly briefing, by Lucia Moses, a Snap spokesperson, confirmed that the company will test a new ad format called “Commercials”, which will be unskippable six-second ads that run in select Snapchat Shows, and not in Snapchat’s magazine-style Discover editions, says the report. snap

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The report says that still-unprofitable Snapchat is going to start testing nonskippable ads in its TV-like shows, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the plans and confirmed by Snap, parent of the messaging app.

The experience would be new for Snapchat and run counter to its past practice, struggling to grow users and missing growth expectations, while advertising is its only source of revenue. According to the show production and agency side people, this would be a new experience on Snapchat, and the key to whether people will be turned off, and whether the content and the ads themselves are good enough to hold their attention.

One person with direct knowledge of the test notes that  “They’re aware people will have to get used to it… that said, so much of the Snapchat generation has gotten accustomed to watching ads to get content…”

Snapchat is apparently limiting the test to the shows that Snapchat has been leaning into. These shows run three to five minutes and are slick, highly produced programs from established TV, and entertainment companies like NBCUniversal, Viacom and Turner, the kind of video content that viewers are used to seeing ads in, says the report.

Snapchat has had a tough time getting people to watch ads on the platform, says the report. A 2017 study by Fluent found that 69% of Americans “always” or “often” skip ads on the app, a figure that goes up to 80% for 18- to 24-year-olds, the key Snapchat audience and coveted by advertisers. Forcing them to watch ads could turn them off further, to the detriment of the advertisers and the shows’ producers.

The upcoming nonskippable ads test apparently would go further than Snapchat’s thinking earlier this year, when it was considering making people watch three seconds of an ad before letting them skip it, Ad Age reported. As it stands, users can skip ads with a tap.

For more on the modernization of video ads, entertainment, television and more, please visit Digiday here.

 

 

2 comments about "SnapChat Testing "Commercials"".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 30, 2018 at 7:49 a.m.

    It will be interesting to see if they provide any research on the percent of "users" who actually recall seeing the average six second ad and can prove it by playing back what little there is of its "message". Somehow, I doubt that such info will be made available----but one can hope.

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, April 30, 2018 at 9:55 p.m.

    Ed, I'd settle for how many complete the whole six seconds as a starting point.

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