As Viacom looks to strengthen its reach among the 12+ demographic, the company’s channels MTV and Comedy Central are deepening their existing relationship with tween and teen-favored social platform Snapchat.
The expanded partnership, which spans both content production and ad sales, will bring two new channels to Snapchat Discover — a Comedy Central International channel and an MTV channel in the US.
MTV International already partnered with Discover last year, with a focus on music, TV, movie, style, pop culture and celebrity news and videos.
Viacom now gains the right to sell Snapchat’s US-owned and operated ad inventory, including for ongoing Live Stories such as New York, which captures daily happenings in New York City, and holiday Live Stories, such as Valentine’s Day.
(Snapchat’s Live Stories are a curated stream of user-submitted Snaps from various locations and events, like fashion shows and red-carpet appearances. The end result is a story told from a community perspective with lots of different points of view.)
In return, Snapchat will be able to produce Live Stories content based on Viacom-owned events, including the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), BET Experience, and Europe Music Awards (EMAs).
MTV, for one, has seen its TV audiences decline in recent years. In the first quarter of 2015, the linear channel posted a 29% drop in its viewership, according to Nielsen numbers. And Viacom’s Media Networks as a whole saw its revenues decline 3% to US$2.57 billion in the first quarter of 2016.
But it’s in a particularly precarious situation, as, unlike more staid channels like NBC and Fox, both MTV and Comedy Central cater almost exclusively to millennials and younger audiences.
Snapchat is an obvious partner. The platform boasts a reach of 100 million monthly users, most of them under the age of 18 years. Total daily video views, as of January, have reach seven billion a day, a number that falls just shy of Facebook’s self-reported eight billion daily video views.
SnapChat, meanwhile, remains a relative newbie to the advertising space. With this deal, the platform will have an opportunity to grow its advertising business, gaining access to Viacom’s roster of big ad buyers.
Viacom has also agreed to deepen its investment in the creation of original content for both its new Discover channels. To date, the media co has provided few details on its content plans for its MTV’s channel in the US. The channel is set to launch today, with news, arts and celebrity interviews promised.