Snapchat launches long-awaited Snap Select ad buying platform in UK

UK advertisers can buy and reserve "Commercials" for shows in Snapchat Discover.

Snap Select: ad buying tool for Commercials, Snapchat's video ads format for Discover Shows
Snap Select: ad buying tool for Commercials, Snapchat's video ads format for Discover Shows

Snapchat has launched its long-awaited Snap Select ad-buying tool, which will give UK brands access to premium video inventory for the platform’s six-second, non-skippable ads. 

The feature, announced in April 2019, is launching in the UK and will allow advertisers to buy and reserve Commercials for shows in Snapchat Discover. Commercials are Snapchat’s premium non-skip, sound-on videos used for Discover content, which comprises professionally produced videos from broadcasters including Channel 4, Sky Sports and Barcroft Media. 

Snapchat charges advertisers a fixed cost per thousand to buy ads on Commercials, which it touted as a quickly growing video format during its last earnings calls. Parent company Snap said the global daily average number of Snapchatters watching Discover shows increased by more than 45% year on year. 

Manning Gottlieb OMD’s head of paid social, Fred Barnes, endorsed the Snap Select tool, adding that it would help the Omnicom agency’s clients meet their goals by buying “brand-safe, premium inventory in a predictable manner”.

Barnes added: “Savvy video buyers know that not all mobile video inventory is the same. In recent years, Snapchat has become an invaluable partner for driving cost-efficient reach among Gen Z audiences in a trusted and premium environment. 

“Our team has watched as video-buying tools and inventory have grown and developed on Snapchat. Not least Snap Commercials, which allow us to place ads in an editorially vetted and curated space among broadcasters and trusted publishers, it is essentially TV for mobile.”

The coronavirus pandemic appears to have accelerated the longer-term trend in people watching video on mobile. Research from the National Research Group (commissioned by Snapchat) revealed that mobile video consumption and daily engagement have grown by 25% in 2020, while 70% of Gen Z and millennial-age people are watching more video this year compared with 2019. 

The average smartphone screen time has, on average, increased from two hours per day in 2014 to a new high of three hours and 19 minutes per day in 2020.

A Samsung study of its own consumer base revealed that, for the first time, people were now spending longer consuming TV on streaming services than watching on traditional linear channels, Campaign revealed yesterday

Ed Couchman, Snapchat’s general manager for the DACH, Netherlands, Nordics and the UK, added: “Even before lockdown, we were seeing a significant shift with young people in particular turning to their mobiles for entertainment and information. 

“This trend has not gone unnoticed by advertisers who have embraced premium mobile content as a platform to reach and engage with Gen Z.”

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