Aug 8, 2017

Exclusive: Snap's first original series grew 45% in 2 seasons

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

In its second season, Snapchat's first original program, "Good Luck America," averaged over 5 million unique viewers per episode, Axios has learned. The season totaled 29 million total unique viewers globally, 45% more than the prior season. Almost 75% of those viewers are under the age of 25, and over 90% are under age 35.

Why it matters: This is the first time Snapchat has released an episode average for a completed season of its own content. Of course, Snapchat uses its own measurement techniques that are different from television ratings (they measure a view as a video being opened), so a direct comparison cannot be made to TV, but the success of "Good Luck America" as well as the launch of a daily news program on the app, demonstrate a major shift in how TV news will transition to mobile in the digital age.

Other TV network shows are also seeing high performance on Discover:

In its first season, Vertical Networks' Phone Swap averaged 11.4 million viewers per episode globally.Recent episodes of E!'s The Rundown are now averaging close to 8 million viewers per episode, with the largest reaching well over 10 million unique viewers.On its second earnings calls, Discovery said 12 million viewers watched Shark Week on Snapchat Discover.Be smart: Snap CEO Spiegel is under tremendous pressure internally and externally to drop the standoffish, secretive approach and start telling the Snapchat story with more punch and imagination. Times are changing: "Historically, I would've said something along the lines of 'you're kidding me' for a view only being a few seconds," says Steve Passwaiter, VP at Kantar Media. "But the fact that TV networks are starting to sell 6-second spots shows how much things are changing." (Fox will premier its first 6-second ad at the Teen Choice Awards this Sunday.)

The caveat: Snapchat will host its second-ever earnings call to investors Thursday, and its ability to monetize its success on Discover should be an important point. Earlier this week Snapchat unveiled an ad tech update that will cater to large brand advertisers, ones potentially looking to run TV-like ad campaigns against video content on Snapchat. While reports have surfaced that some boutique, influencer advertisers prefer to run with Instagram over Snapchat, big-brand advertising agencies, like WPP, have reiterated their commitment to increasing ad investment in Snapchat this year.

Investors will also look to see how much Snapchat will increase its ARPU (average revenue per user), which had been increasing steadily up until last quarter, despite slowed user growth caused mostly by Instagram copying its Stories feature.

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