Viacom Makes Ad Deal With Snapchat

Viacom, whose ratings and ad revenues have been falling as young consumers turn to digital media, has formed a new partnership with Snapchat, the messaging app popular with kids now.

The deal allows Viacom to sell advertising during content it and Snapchat create for Snapchat’s Discovery platform, according to the Wall Street Journal. Viacom executives are also advising Snapchat on the advertising business.

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Viacom, which owns youth-oriented networks like MTV and Nickelodeon, reports its earnings Tuesday. It is controlled by 92-year-old media mogul Sumner Redstone, who last week was replaced as chairman. His replacement, CEO Philippe Dauman, is expected to talk about the Snapchat deal on the company’s earnings call, according to the paper.

The deal is also seen as a way to help Snapchat attract more big advertisers.

In a release issued Tuesday morning, Viacom said it has agreed to provide Snapchat with expanded access so Snapchat can produce Live Stories covering more of Viacom's events.

“Viacom and Snapchat naturally complement each other in significant ways that make us ideal partners in both content and business development,” said Wade Davis, chief financial officer at Viacom. “Snapchat captures young audiences on an intimate and immersive mobile video platform while Viacom is the leader in premium long- and short-form storytelling for these same audiences. Add in Viacom’s custom marketing solutions and commitment to evolve our global mobile strategy and you’ve got a partnership that is great for both companies, for advertisers, and is a real evolution of the marketplace.”

Viacom will further invest in the creation of original premium video content specifically for Snapchat Discover. Additional resources will now be put towards the launch of an MTV U.S. Channel and a Comedy Central International channel on the platform, the companies said.

“Snapchat provides the best storytelling experience on mobile. Through this partnership with Viacom, we can now offer television advertisers a way to tell their stories across television and mobile in a frictionless way,” said Imran Khan, Snapchat’s chief strategy officer.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.