Viacom, the owner of television networks including MTV, Comedy Central, BET, VH1, and Nickelodeon, has signed a multiyear deal with disappearing messaging app Snapchat to sell ads on the app’s behalf, confirms Reuters. News of a likely deal was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Terms of the deal include giving Viacom the right to sell ads against its own content on Snapchat as well as to sell ads for Snapchat’s U.S. inventory, a Snapchat spokesperson told Reuters. The spokesperson also confirmed that Viacom is the only TV company to have such a deal. Though the exact length of the deal isn’t known, the Journal is reporting that it is a "multiyear" deal. The WSJ also notes that the ad deal includes ads sold for Snapchat’s popular "Live Stories" feature that sources posts from users in geographic locales or during holidays.
And it’s a deal that can’t come soon enough for Viacom as its traditional sources of revenue falter due to its television networks, especially those that appeal to younger audiences like MTV, and Comedy Central, experiencing softer ratings as more and more young people go online to get their entertainment, notes the Journal.
Before the advertising deal, Viacom already had a working relationship with Snapchat. On the app’s Discover page it provided an MTV international channel and a Comedy Central U.S. channel. Under the new advertising deal, Viacom will expand its MTV channel to the U.S. and its Comedy Central channel internationally.
The Snapchat/Viacom deal isn’t only good news for the television giant, however. As Snapchat has grown from a morally questionable messaging app geared toward young and hormonal teens into a bona fide revenue-generating business, it has started hosting other content besides user pics, including the aforementioned video content, which now garners 7 billion views a day, from various providers that it can sell ads with. However, many buyers of ads have expressed frustration with Snapchat’s expensive ad prices and the company’s lack of ad sales organization, reports the Journal.
With Viacom coming in and taking over the U.S. ad sales for the app, Snapchat gets a much-needed, experienced ad seller that marketers are comfortable working with. Viacom’s involvement will also allow marketers to buy ad packages that span Snapchat and its traditional television networks, ensuring that advertisers can reach the coveted teen and millennial audience whether they consume content via television or on mobile.