I Want My Snapchat TV

Nick Cicero

February 9, 2016

This blog was originally posted on
Conviva Acquired Delmondo in November of 2018 and has become Conviva Social Insights.

Viacom and Snapchat have entered into a multiyear agreement that allows the media company to sell advertising on Snapchat’s behalf, according to the Wall St. Journal. In a major media industry announcement, Viacom will have exclusive third-party rights to directly sell advertising surrounding Snapchat’s owned and operated content, Comedy Central will expand their Discover channel internationally, and MTV will finally get its own channel here in the US. 

In 1981, MTV took cable airwaves by storm, bringing a rush of new music and programming to the masses that had never been seen before on cable television. From city to city across the country, teens were shouting “I want my MTV!” in exclamation of being young, different, and begging to be heard.

In 2016, Snapchat has become the voice of a generation, with hundreds of millions of viewers watching videos billions of times daily. Starting with just short photo and video messages it has now evolved to sophisticated local, national and international stories curated every day from a deluge of video content.

Live Stories document world events, the US elections, sports, and award shows. Discover is loaded with credible media brands creating their own content from their unique POV, and Snapchat continues to create more originals like the Music Wrap-Up and Peter Hamby’s Good Luck America, offering a diverse slate of programming each day on the app.

And don’t forget you still have all that user-generated content that people can watch like DJ Khaled who is generating tens of millions of daily views on his own personal channel. Those kind of numbers on mobile video are a goldmine, and it’s turning Snapchat not just into another social network, but a bonafide entertainment hub a la MTV in its prime.

Viacom has already started to tap into this shift, just last year they rolled out the formation of their Social Influencer Network, seeing the online stars like Logan Paul transition from Vine, Instagram and Snapchat streams to guest spots in Teen Wolf and other Viacom programming. Social Influencers killed the Music Video stars? Not really, but Viacom is making a savvy move to harness this generation’s version of the Music Video star and do what they do best, build an empire around them.

As brands across the board are ramping up their video assets, Snapchat is now becoming a viable alternative to traditional TV. In 2015, brands increased their media ad spend on various video platforms by 43%, and in a separate report found that 22% of senior ad buyers said they plan to advertise on Snapchat this year for the first time.

Media buyers want it, they just don’t know how to get it, what they’re getting, or who it’s reaching after they buy it. That trust factor is where Viacom comes in. They provide the research, the scale, and the ability to build Snapchat into legacy advertiser budgets where Snapchat found it hard to crack before.

So, it’s probably no surprise that 35 years and trillions of viewers later, the folks who started MTV would cross paths with Snapchat. Viacom provides legitimacy to Snapchats offering, a seasoned sales team that has spent 35 years mastering the Art of selling a highly coveted generation, a multi-platform juggernaut of media, entertainment and music with years of consumer data trends and international distribution.

Snapchat, is the new force in the space, capturing the attention of eyeballs shifting from the Television screen to the most important screen in the world, the one that goes with you everywhere you go. And it’s not just your eyeballs, an intent-based loading system means that users actually have to engage with a Snap to open and view it fullscreen. With millions of people giving Snapchat 100% of their focus in the moments they engage – this is giving way to a new, more pure attention metric. Snapchat represents the new breed, a bi-directional network that lets you hear and be heard, look and be seen, find a community of Entetainment with the swipe of a thumb.

I want my Snap TV.

This piece was co-written with Jesse Redniss and originally appeared on TVREV