First look: MTV’s Snapchat debut in the US

It used to be that we wanted our MTV. These days, it seems, MTV wants its Snapchat.

The first cable channel geared toward the youth released its Snapchat Discover channel in the U.S. today. The launch was part of a closer partnership deal between the Los Angeles-based startup and Viacom, the parent company to MTV and Comedy Central.

MTV was already available overseas on Snapchat, and Comedy Central was already a channel in the U.S. But now they are both available worldwide. Viacom also said today that it has a new, exclusive ad-sales agreement with Snapchat. Viacom will sell video ads alongside original Snapchat content in Discover and the Live Stories section of the app, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Discover is the media hub in Snapchat with channels from publishers like Cosmo, Vox and Buzzfeed. The Live Stories are user-contributed video montages from special events and locations, with new features every day.

MTV was known as an early disruptor in youth-focused media, much like Snapchat is today. However, revenue is on decline at the legacy media business, which saw a 6 percent drop last quarter, according to results released today.

Snapchat and Viacom did not immediately respond to request for comments.

Viacom said it was committed to creating more original content for Snapchat’s channels. Today’s debut of MTV on Snapchat in the US revealed a small-screen, mobile re-interpretation of the cable channel. It took full advantage of the vertical video format that Snapchat has been advocating.

MTV also had a sponsor, the movie “How to Be Single.”

The channel was filled with the now familiar Snapchat-style content — a mix of GIFs, emoji drawings, articles, and vertical videos.

Top Discover channels can draw more than 3 million viewers a day.

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