Snapchat Launches Ad API And Ad Partner Program

What Happened
Snapchat took a major step in building out its ad business on Monday as it launched its first ad partner program and its first official ad API. Together, they allow third-party ad networks to create and serve ads on Snapchat, helping the hot messaging app to score more ad revenue. Also, Snapchat says it will soon start showing ads between stories from friends for the first time. Previously, Snapchat ads have only appeared in the media section of Snapchat, i.e., Discover channels and Live Stories. Initial launch partners for this new ad unit include Hollister, P&G, Verizon, and Warner Brothers.

Why Brands Should Care
With the API and some newly-added measurement tools, Snapchat’s growing ad business seems to be catching up to its rapid growth. According to eMarketer, Snapchat is expected to expand its user base by 27.2% this year, surpassing its rivals such as Twitter and Pinterest. Nearly one in five Americans will be on Snapchat by the end of the year. For brands, now is the time to consider getting on Snapchat to reach its young-skewing users (about half of its users are below 25) via a variety of means, including purchasing Discover ads, custom selfie filters, or branded Geofilters, as well as sponsoring events that Snapchat covers in Live Stories.


Source: Digiday

AT&T Vying For Youth Attention By Sponsoring Social Influencers

What Happened
Last week, AT&T launched Hello Lab in a bid to win over young audiences. Working with media company Fullscreen, Hello Lab is a year-long project where the telecom company will sponsor ten social influencers with established followings to create a variety of content to reach young audiences on digital platforms such as YouTube and Snapchat. The content, which AT&T described as “cross-platform programming and live experiences,” will include videos, social challenges, podcasts, and live meet-ups to be distributed across social platforms. Their goal is to create a range of branded content marketing that associates AT&T with this kind of youth-oriented content.

What Brands Need To Do
For marketers, partnering with social influencers to develop branded content that can reach their massive audiences of teens and young adults that are harder to reach via traditional forms of advertising, such as linear TV ads. As media consumption continues to shift from traditional media to digital outlets, especially in the younger demographics, brands will need to follow the audience and reach them on their preferred platforms via branded content or sponsorships.

For more information on how brands can reach viewers on digital platforms with branded content, check out the Appified TV section in our Outlook 2016.


Source: Marketing Land

Is Mesh Network The Alternative Future For Messaging Apps?

Look out, Snapchat! There is a new hot messaging app blowing up with among teens and high schoolers across the country. Jott, a messaging app that works without a data plan or WiFi connection, plays to the needs of always-on teens who are short on data plans. According to co-founder Jared Allgood, the app has doubled its active users to half a million in March alone, while continuously adding 15,000 to 20,000 users per day.

The app circumvents the need for Internet connection by creating a mesh network based on Bluetooth connections to relay messages among users within 100 feet of each other. Similarly, FireChat, a messaging app that also works on mesh network, became a surprise hit during Hong Kong protests last October. While apps operating on mesh network certainly have some limitations in terms of range and stability, they do provide an intriguing alternative that excels in its community-based independence, free from carrier controls and common privacy concerns, which, contrary to popular beliefs, the Gen Z users do care a lot about.

Snapchat To Debut New Content From Sophia Vergara And MLB

Read original story on: Variety & WSJ Blog

“Modern Family” star Sophia Vergara is coming to Snapchat with her own reality series Vergaraland. Co-produced by Fusion and Latin World Entertainment, the six-episode series promises a humorous look at the actress’ career from the perspective of her son.

Snapchat has also reportedly worked out a deal with Major League Baseball Advanced Media to introduce a weekly series of baseball-related video content. We first heard back in March that Snapchat is looking to broadcast live sport events, and this seems like a solid first step in that direction.

Ever since the beginning of this year, we have been witnessing Snapchat’s relentless push into original content to build out its media platform outside messaging. So it seems only natural that Snapchat is now getting Hollywood celebrities and sport leagues on board to boost awareness of its original content.

Led by Snapchat and Facebook Messenger, the messaging apps are racing to become full-fledged media channels. Although it seems still a bit early in the game to declare a winner, Snapchat is most definitely in the running with its vast popularity among Millennials and Gen Z, which means that brands trying to reach those young audiences need to take notice.



Best Of The Lab 2014: Gen Z And Emerging Media Channels

Welcome to the Lab’s year-end review, looking back at our most popular posts from 2014.

One of our key trends this year was Gen Z’s fluid media habits, as they relentlessly pursue new platforms that suit their needs, most notably with messaging apps. Read our interview with the insightful Melissa Lavigne-Delville from our Gen Z feature week to reflect on the fickle generation. Then head over to our hit white paper to reacquaint yourself with the ins and outs of the fast-growing messaging apps.

Gen Z Week: A Conversation With Melissa Lavigne-Delville

Messaging Apps: The New Face of Social Media and What It Means For Brands


We Tried The Taylor Swift Experience (And We Liked It)

Despite her very public break up with Spotify last week, it looks like Taylor Swift is not exactly done with new digital media yet. Accompanying her new single “Blank Space”, America’s No.1 ex-girlfriend has teamed up with RadicalMedia and American Express and released a free app that promises fans the ultimate “Taylor Swift Experience”. In an effort to connect with today’s Gen Z audience, we downloaded it, tried it, and surprise—we totally enjoyed it.

Tay 1

A neat gamification of the single’s music video, the main “experience” of the app is a 360-degree interactive adventure through the lavish Oheka Castle, where the video was shot. You can either take a fly-on-the-wall approach to follow Taylor around and watch her overdramatically break up with her beau, or you can leave the drama behind and explore the seven different rooms featured in the video at will by moving your device around. The experience is entirely scored with the new single and therefore limited to the song’s length each time.

Tay Cat

To encourage repeat gameplay, a total of 41 Easter egg-style “collectables”—namely, close-up pictures of the props featured in the video—are scattered throughout the various space and up for grabs. (During first play, we stumbled upon a cute photo of Taylor Swift’s cat Olivia Benson in the background.) Unsurprisingly, the app also features upcoming tour dates, a link to watch the music video on YouTube, links to purchase her new album, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and a bit of information about American Express as well.

As content creators become more familiar with new immersive technology, short-form media like music videos could become a great ground for testing how narratives work in new virtual environments.

All images featured are screenshots from the app.

Gen Z Don’t Buy Media Anymore; They Just Rent

Read original story on: Wired

It’s been widely reported that when it comes to music, today’s teens tend to just stream it instead of buying on iTunes. The Wall Street Journal reported that digital music sales on iTunes, the world’s biggest music seller, had declined 13 percent to 14 percent since the start of the year. But what if their media consumption habit has spread to other media content as well?

During the last quarter, Amazon’s North American sales of media—books, music, movies, games—grew five percent of quarterly growth, the lowest year-over-year growth in North American media sales in over five years. If this is any indication, then it looks like younger generations are indeed choosing convenient access to media content over physical or digital ownership.

Ironically, this long-predicted shift in consumer priorities also seems to be perpetuated by the digital media sellers themselves. In the case of Amazon, textbook sales dipped sharply in part because Amazon makes textbook rentals so easy, similar to the way Amazon Prime Video discouraged DVD purchases. Similarly, Apple also has iTunes Radio for streaming music, not to mention the soon-to-integrated Beats music.

That being said, there might be a bit of over-generalization, as Gen Z evidently does still listen to MP3, paid for or not. Still, the trend towards a rental-based, on-demand economy has been a long time coming. And with the younger generations embracing such ways of media consumption, it’s time for companies built on the practice of purchasing media to reexamine basic assumptions.

Gen Z and Digital Privacy

Contrary to popular belief, Gen Z knows what they are doing when it comes to digital privacy.

Adults often criticize Generation Z — teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 — for their lack of interest in protecting digital privacy. Such a consensus is bolstered by the numerous selfies posted, the tons of private information cavalierly shared, and the details about their personal life broadcasted through social media — a consensus seemingly backed up by relevant studies.

Despite all the alarming oversharing, however, Gen Z is not unconcerned with privacy. Today’s teens might just have a different idea about what privacy entails. They don’t separate their online and offline lives the way older generations might, but they are concerned with sharing information with a selective group of trusted friends or brands.

Privacy Settings Are Key

Teens are savvy about using privacy settings online, which is why they are so much more comfortable sharing personal information online. Facebook privacy settings, for example, are especially put to good use by today’s teens. Instead of thinking that “whatever’s online can be found” as many older users would, teens feel free to share while protecting their privacy. That’s why 60 percent of teenagers have their Facebook profiles set to private so that people they are not friends with cannot access their information, according to a Pew Research study

Self Expression v.s. Privacy

Today’s teens trust social media more than older generations do and consider it to be a platform for creative expression. Many teens dislike the cyberbullying common on social media therefore prefer sites that do not require users to provide their real names or personal information — places where bullies and enemies are less likely to find them.

Growing up as digital natives attuned to NSA surveillance as well as targeted ads on Facebook, Gen Z has learned to navigate with ease between the “do-not-track” features and the convenience that location services provides. They are shunning away from Facebook and other “un-cool” platforms alike and flocking towards apps like Instagram and Snapchat. Gen Z prefers platforms that have earned their trust by allowing them greater degrees of anonymity and privacy without sacrificing their ability to express themselves and connect with each other.

Tech Is Replacing Fashion For Gen Z

For today’s teenagers, fashion might have gone out of vogue. In fact, technology is quickly becoming more of a status symbol than fashion. As noted in a recent New York Times report on the back-to-school shopping, many Gen Z members cite the newest handset as a higher priority than the fashion fad of the season. As tech accessories continue to rise among the younger generations, it is up to brands on both sides to keep up with the trend.

What Is “Bullet Screen” And Why Is It So Popular In China?

“Bullet screen”, or “dan’mu” in Chinese, is an emerging new feature on online video sites in China and Japan, which allows real-time comments from viewers to fly across the screen like bullets. Mostly used for virtual nods and zingers, this “social viewing” feature is phenomenally popular with the younger crowd. In fact, it is so popular that several theaters in China have been incorporating this practice into special screenings that display streams of text messages sent in by the audience. It’s unclear whether this trend will spread to global markets, but it’s an excellent example of how media channels can adapt to user behavior.