We all know that TV is dying, and it’s starting to realize how old and arthritic it is. Netflix alone dealt a huge blow, and the likes of Hulu and even YouTube have made it seem ancient and past it’s time.
Why watch scheduled programming at the time allotted when we can watch it the next day at our leisure (Hulu), binge on an entire season in one day (Netflix and Hulu), or watch the recap or clips that won’t make it onto TV (YouTube)?
When we have so many ways to view the content we want to see at the time we want to see it, why watch TV?
Snapchat realizes this, and capitalized on it. Big time.
Recently the American Music Awards was broadcast on ABC, and 3 million people watched it on their flatscreens. Snapchat streamed a Live Story of the same show, and 11.5 million people watched it on their phones.
TV just got bitch slapped so hard by Evan Spiegel that it almost changed back to black and white from color.
Just think about it for a second an app made by a Stanford dropout kicked the crap out of a huge broadcasting corporation and drew in 4 times more viewers for an awards show.
It was only the AMA’s, which no one really cares about, at least compared to the Grammy’s or other awards shows, music or not. But the fact that a social media app could draw in 11.5 million views for a live stream of an event and demolish the TV broadcast at the same time is amazing.
In all honesty, Spiegel probably didn’t see this coming when Snapchat was still called Picaboo. If he did, he’s even more of a genius than I thought.
Even go back just a year, and I don’t know if anyone would have seen this coming; Snapchat is revolutionizing how we view media content, and all anyone can do is sit back and watch.
Advertisers are fighting for spots for their ads in Snapchat’s Discover feature, as well as Live Stories, and those can even be skipped. Companies are shelling out money to just to have their ads swiped off the screen, and they don’t even get to see who they’re advertising t o, which isn’t really how that works.
Snapchat is anonymous, and thus marketers can’t get gobs of personal information on users to then ship ads that specifically target them. Luckily for us, Spiegel finds that to be pretty creepy.
Instead, advertisements have to be made just for Snapchat. In other words, they have to be formatted to be short and look great vertically, just how all content on the app is oriented.
Apparently, ads are 9 times less likely to be skipped when they appear on your phone vertically, so you’re not going to have to strenuously pause the video, turn off your rotation lock, turn your phone on it’s side, and then play the video.
To ensure the ads are actually seen, they have to not look like ads. For instance, Tide ads were filmed in a way that they didn’t seem out of place, showing the Tide logo only momentarily and included hashtags, as if they were an actual post to someone’s Story.
Mixing original content with ads so seamlessly is something that TV could never do. It’s obvious when the TV show goes to commercial; but it’s less painfully obvious when there’s a sponsored ad on a Live Story or event.
The ads are also a lot shorter, and you can swipe through them if you want. Good luck doing that on your 60” screen.
Netflix and Hulu have done a lot to keep people away from cable companies, and TV as we know it is starting to die, or at least change rather drastically. In today’s world, people want stuff, and they want it n ow.
TV does give you stuff n ow, but it might not be exactly what you want. You want to watch the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld, not The King of Queens.
Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and others like Crackle all give you the clip or episode that you want to watch, right this second.
Want to watch another episode? Here’s 9 more seasons worth of episodes, so binge all you want; the world isn’t going anywhere.
Television may still be big, but if it’s on the way out, it’s practically all the way out. Just roll over and die, already.
But what Snapchat is doing was totally unforeseen by most of us, if not all of us. Who thought that an app you use to send ephemeral content would garner such a frenzy from advertisers everywhere?
We can stream content from a live event, stories posted by users around the world, and every now and then there’s a short ad. We can live with that; in fact, we may even be drawn into it.
Snapchat hasn’t been around for very long, yet it is already changing how we view content on our phones and how advertisers reach their target market. Why have an ad on TV that we might
not even look at because we’re staring at our phones when you can just slip an altered version of that ad into the app we are using that’s keep our eyes off the TV screen?
And for the heck of it, let’s stream the event right in that app rather than watch it be broadcast on TV our phones are already in our hand.
Snapchat is so much more than an app; it’s a media powerhouse, and we might as well call it the Ghost of Television Future.
Check this video that shares some insider tips when using SnapChat
Up Next: How to not be a snap chat slut – aka don’t send nude snaps to randoms.