Finally, after a long due, Snap has managed to pull up from the rough news where it was staying from quiet a long time now, but now the company has a really good story to tell regarding its original shows. Ironically, it’s not the Snap officials who are talking about the news at the moment.
The original Snapchat/NBC news show “Stay Tuned” has managed to pull up some really surprising numbers so far, that is, 29 million unique viewers in less than a month’s time. The report was published by Axios. Due to this news only, the Snapchat stocks are witnessing an up-trend since Friday morning.
Although, Snapchat refrained from saying that these many people (29 million) are watching the show for straight 30-60 minutes however, Axios quoted that it is still really impressive for a brand to get its difficult to fetch 25 year old audience to tune in to their show every day, let alone watch the news.
The early success of “Stay Tuned” is the latest in a series of positive, now with standing random numbers for Snapchat Discover and particularly for the series itself. On a recent earnings call one of the Snapchat official said that the reality dating show, “Phone Swap” has also reached more than 10 million viewers per episode. It is known that other TV networks like MTV and Channel V would rather kill for such a show with huge viewership.
It must also be noted here that, 10 million people checking out a few seconds of a short form Snapchat series is way too different from 10 million viewers watching a show on TV, but still the numbers are pretty impressive and eye opening. Other indicators are also there that some Discover content also draws similar large number of audiences. ESPN told Business Insider sometime back that it has 18 million users for a month on it. Hearst’s Cosmopolitan has similarly crowded about big numbers on Discover.
Now all this talks raises two major questions:
This is a good narrative for the embattled public company when it desperately needs one. Snapchat has talked about shows like E’s “The Rundown” (7 million viewers an episode) and A+E’s “Second Chance” (over 8 million an episode). Yet we rarely hear about how Comedy Central’s originals, or shows from Jimmy Fallon or the NFL, are doing on Snapchat.
Do you think if CBS has a few hits shows this fall it’s going to keep quiet about them? After all, there seems to be good ad money in video content. Everyone’s pivoting that way.
Whatever is the number of viewers for Snap are, often comes from partner of Snapchat itself. Now, here, we do not intend to blame anyone that the numbers are forged, however, it’s a known fact too that when a company tells the world about its audience, they are most likely to spin the numbers for their best benefit.
Do 29 million people watch NBC’s Snap show ever day? Or did 29 million people watch it once for a few seconds, and only a few hundred thousand watch regularly? Only Snapchat and NBC know. To be fair, it’s still very early in Snapchat’s and its partners’ venture into these kinds of shows, so reporting may be a work in progress.
Branex UAE tried reaching out to Snap for comment and has yet to hear back. Now whatever anyone has to say about the flaws in numbers that were provided by Nielsen ratings, with people filling paper diaries in this age too, the numbers come out every day and nobody on the television can hide from them.
Snapchat likes to talk about the dozen or so measurement partners it has inked deals with over the last few years. But it needs someone like Nielsen or comScore or Moat grading how well its shows are doing, so the world (and advertisers) can actually dig in and figure out how people are really watching content on Snapchat.
To be fair, Snapchat isn’t the only company that self-reports. Facebook loves to crow about how many daily video views it generates, and we often just take their word for it. And TV networks are masters of taking Nielsen data and making it sound better than it is (the number one new comedy among adults 75-plus on Tuesdays this summer)
The problem is, as we’ve seen of late, between video ads running next to hate videos on YouTube to Facebook admitting to a series of self-inflicted measurement mistakes, marketers are less inclined to take anybody in digital media at their word.