Snapchat, which helped to popularise AR filters, created custom interactive lenses for the shows, including reaction lenses” for key scenes that urge users to share their experiences with friends. Each series has about eight to twelve episodes and are released daily. Here is the promo video.
Snapchat didn’t release the names of advertisers whose video inserts appear in “Snap Originals,” but anecdotally, Reese’s, Target and Sprint were among the brands whose mid roll ads appeared in shows this week. The spots, which can’t be skipped and only last for a few seconds, are marked as an “Ad” on the lower right corner of the screen. Snapchat in May introduced six second, forced view ads for shows in its Discover section, according to Ad age, as advertisers worried their commercials were being skipped.
Snapchat’s new original programming may appeal to advertisers seeking to reach younger audiences who spend less time watching TV or are cancelling cable subscriptions for digital and mobile alternatives. National broadcast TV ad sales last year fell 2.2%, but showed signs of stabilising this year as the UUS economy grew the fastest in four years, per Magna, the ad buying and media analytics unit of IPG. Magna lost month revised its forecast for national TV to show growth of 0.8% to $42.7 billion this year, while also estimating that digital ad sales will rise by 16%.
For Snapchat, the original programming is another way to keep viewers engaged on its image messaging platform as the company tried to reverse a declining user base. Snapchat has reportedly seen the most success with shows that update their episodes at least once a day. NBC News twice daily program “Stay Tuned” has doubled its audience in the past year and now reaches 5 million unique viewers per day.
The new programming arrives as the company faces continues competition from archival Instagram. The Facebook owned image messaging app this week announced a partnership with Meredith to develop 10 original series for IGTV, the video platform that Instagram debuted last summer.
Snapchat’s estimated ad revenue was cut by 36% last month. Snapchat needs to keep an eye on its cash flow, according to an analyst who this week predicted that the company will run out of money next year, with an estimated $1.5 billion loss next year. A leaked memo from CEO Evan Spiegel said one of the company’s goals is to better educated advertisers about using the app, which underwent a redesign earlier this year.