Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Viacom Renews and Expands Snapchat Deal, Plans New Content from Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, and Comedy Central

Viacom Inc. has renewed and expanded its global deal with Snap Inc., committing to develop and produce new Snapchat Shows and more Our Stories for Snapchat’s Discover page.


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Snapchat versions of MTV’s Girl Code and Cribs have been renewed. A new show based on MTV's Promposal, about high-schoolers setting up elaborate prom date proposals, is also set to launch.

Viacom first announced its deal for Snapchat Shows two years ago for a revival of Cribs, providing an inside look at celebrity mansions and other domiciles, based on the long-running series that originally aired on MTV starting in 2000. On Snapchat, the first seasons of Cribs and Girl Code hit last summer.

Viacom is committed to producing additional shows in various formats from MTV, BET and Comedy Central. Some are already in development.


Viacom will sell advertising in the programs and it and Snapchat will share revenue. The shares were not disclosed.

In addition, Viacom also plans to produce more Our Stories for Snapchat around its cable brands’ tentpole events, including: Kids' Choice Awards on Nickelodeon, Countdown to the VMA, VMA Awards, VMA Red Carpet, MTV EMA Awards, MTV TV and Movie Awards Red Carpet, MTV TV and Movie Awards, CMT Awards, BET Awards, BET Experience, BET Red Carpet and BET Hip Hop Awards.

Some of the programming is being produced by Viacom Digital Studios, a new unit designed to create content for digital online and social platforms.

Viacom and Snapchat have been working together since 2015 when a Live Story was created form MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs). The Live Story was sponsored by Taco Bell, Verizon, American Legacy and Covergirl.

The two companies made a multiyear deal in 2016, which included an exclusive ad sales relationship. As part of the agreement Viacom created channels for Snapchat’s Discovery service and said it would invest in original programming for Snapchat. Viacom was also allowed to offer ad space in other Snapchat programming, outside its own original content. Viacom no longer has those exclusive rights to sell Snapchat ads, but controls sales on its own Snapchat content, according to a source familiar with the arrangement.


'Girl Code' on Snapchat. Credit: MTV via @GirlCode/Twitter

Snapchat has been working with a number of TV programmers to bring original content to its platforms. It launched its Discovery feature in 2015 with launch partners including Comedy Central, CNN, Food Network, National Geographic and Vice.

Snapchat has struck deals with a number of publishers and media companies to create a video service that's somewhat like cable TV for mobile apps, sharing the resulting ad revenue. There are channels curated by the publishers, which typically post fresh content every day; there is the Shows format, which is episodic just like TV; and there are Snapchat Stories, which are video montages from media companies around special events—the MTV Awards, for example.

Snapchat recently redesigned its app to separate the Discover media section from the personal messaging side, creating a distinct feed of content. That's where Shows, channels and Stories now appear, with ads running in between the content.

The Promposal made-for-Snapchat show (premiere date TBD) will be a variation on the original linear series, which follows teens who’ve come up with creative, romantic or bizarre ways of asking someone to prom.

The second season of Cribs on Snapchat will return with new episodes later this summer or fall. In season 1, which ranked as the most-viewed premiere of a Snapchat Show ever last year, featured DJ and producer Steve Aoki, pro skateboarder Nyjah Huston, and the Denver Broncos’ Von Miller.

Season 2 of Girl Code, also based on a show on the MTV linear network, started running on Snapchat in late March featuring the original cast of female actors, musicians and stand-up comics, as well as new up-and-comers dispensing a range of female direct advice and anecdotes. The second part of the 12-episode second season will air on Snapchat in May 2018.

"This partnership builds on our great work together: Snap's growing efforts to bring original shows to its platform, and Viacom's accelerated push to create original digital programming for a new generation of mobile-first audiences through Viacom Digital Studios," Viacom said in its announcement.

More Nick: Viacom Planning To Launch Streaming Service During Fall 2018!

Sources: Broadcasting & Cable, Ad Age, Variety, Engadget.
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