After revenue and viewer hikes, Global doubles Snapchat Shows to six

Media company Global is launching three additional Snapchat Shows in the next month, having grown both revenue and viewers from its first three shows on the platform and experienced recent revenue upticks in the last few months.

Global debuted its first three shows on the platform last October, when the format expanded to the U.K. The new series, due for release over the next few weeks, will bring its total Snapchat Shows to six.

Global’s existing three Snapchat Shows fall under the company’s digital news and culture title, PopBuzz. The shows — “YouTuber News,” “The PopBuzz Guide” and “PopBuzz Meets” — collectively had over 27 million unique viewers in May (but doesn’t account for duplicates), according to Global. A recent episode of “YouTuber News,” focused on beauty YouTuber James Charles, had 16 million viewers, according to the publisher.

On average across the three shows, watch time is between one minute 30 seconds and two minutes, but show length varies. “YouTuber News” typically runs between 10 minutes and 12 minutes, while the other two are usually between four and eight minutes long.

Global plans to launch a fourth show under the PopBuzz Show sub-brand, and two from its younger-skewing radio brand Capital. The company draws on its video team of 40 people to create content for Snapchat. Mostly, it has trained up the video team but has also hired an additional video editor to work on Snapchat Shows.

The media company initially viewed the Show formats as a way to experiment with how to reach more of its target audience of 16- to 24-year-olds. But shows have turned into a solid driver of audience and revenue for the PopBuzz brand, according to Charles Ubaghs, audience development director at Global.

“The impact of these viewers, reach and watch time have been transformative for the brand in a really positive way,” he said. “The presenters of these shows, who were previously news editors, now get stopped in the street. That’s how engaged the core demographic is.”

Another reason Global is leaning further into Snapchat: ad revenue. Ubaghs claimed there has been a “healthy increase” in revenue since the platform introduced six-second unskippable ads to the U.K. within Shows in March, although the publisher was unable to share the increase. Unskippable ads naturally have a higher viewability making them more attractive to certain advertisers.

Meanwhile, the media company also plans to further monetize the high engagement on its first three shows by pitching series sponsorship of the shows on platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Typically, publishers tend to distribute Snapchat Show content to other platforms.

Global is not alone in seeing revenue upticks. Jungle Creations, which has three Snapchat Shows from its brands Four Nine Looks, Craft Factory and Twisted, has seen revenue from Snapchat increase threefold since the introduction of unskippable ads in March, according to the publisher.

Since launching in March, Craft Factory and Twisted have had 10 million unique viewers and 8 million unique viewers, respectively. An earlier episode of Four Nine Looks had over 5.6 million unique viewers and a watch time of one minute 38 seconds, according to Jungle.

For some publishers who have large global Discover editions as well as Shows, the former still contributes more traffic and revenue despite the addition of the six-second unskippable ad format in Shows, according to sources.

According to Deborah King, head of paid social, Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Essence, rates for six-second unskippable ads were very competitive with a campaign costing about 2 pence (2 cents) per completed view, with naturally high viewability rates as an unskippable format. More recent campaigns have become less competitive, she said.

“Where we have a brand awareness campaign, a launch or a broader message, that’s where we would put it on the plans,” she said. “We wouldn’t be using that for cost efficiency, across the board that’s a bit more expensive, putting a significant amount of budget there to get the reach.”

Having access to Snapchat’s insights tool via the platform’s CMS has helped Global finesse its videos. This gives Global information like which snaps people drop off and which snaps people share. Getting people to share snaps later on in the narrative has increased the watch time. The formats have adapted as a result too: Presenters in its show “YouTuber News” directly ask people to share snaps with friends who love (or hate) Marvel films, for instance, leading to 20,000 shares, said Ubaghs.

“We’re trying to be playful,” he said. “Sometimes there’ll be a dance off-camera; it’s always the small things that become the biggest snaps shared by the audience.”

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