Older media brands are succeeding in attracting Snapchat’s younger millennial users to view the content that is custom-made for the social network, according to a new study by FutureScape. The study, which looked at the consumption habits of American millennials aged 13-24, also found that they usually view well-established media brands on the Snapchat Discover distribution platform, rather than media which targets their generation i.e. the likes of Vice and Vox, who position themselves as the definitive media for millennials, are losing out to ESPN, CNN and Comedy Central. Even National Geographic had almost twice the number of respondents using Vice and Vox.
The survey interviewed 1,117 US Snapchat users for Variety magazine, and the findings will be welcome news to major media owners. While millennials are often portrayed as being anomalies when it comes to media choices, this survey seems to suggest that traditional media brands can not only compete but win out over the millennial-focused new entrants on the new platforms.Apart from Buzzfeed, which 54 percent of users said they used, the most-viewed media brands were mainly composed of well-known US TV networks and magazines: Comedy Central (44%), iHeartRadio (32%) and Food Network (31%), followed by ESPN (27%), People (25%), Cosmopolitan (24%), CNN (24%) and National Geographic (20%).:
The success of traditional media brands is even more impressive when you consider the fact that they haven’t been able to simply sit back and depend on brand loyalty. Publishers have been creating Snapchat-specific content, which you might think would provided new entrants with an advantage. However, programmers like Comedy Central have launched half-a-dozen comedy shows which are exclusive to Snapchat, while hte likes of Cosmopolitan have embraced things like vertical video and now produces up to a dozen content items daily.
However, Futuresource note that this specialist production usually requires a dedicated editorial team, and some publishers have recruited up to a dozen staff who focus only on Snapchat. Those who simply tried to repurpose existing content, such as Warner Music Group, who showed music videos, failed and the WMG Discover channel was dropped after a six month deal with Snapchat ended.
While Snapchat has a penetration rate of almost 40 percent of millennials, putting it behind platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, its users spend more time on the platform than they do on any other social network apart from Facebook, according to Comscore (click to enlarge):
However, when it comes to video, the graph above just might be misleading. Earlier this year Fortune reported that Snapchat was catching up with Facebook when it came to video views, with Fortune reporting that ‘sources close to Snapchat’ reporting that the platform was seeing up to 7 billion video views per day in January, while Facebook reported that it was seeing eight billion views per day just the month before.