In the early ’80s, MTV caught flak for shortening the attention span of viewers with its quick-cut music videos. Three decades later, it’s long since left music videos behind to focus on reality programming and, increasingly, scripted shows.
But now its parent company Viacom has partnered with Snapchat — which automatically deletes content 24 hours after its posting — to bring content from MTV to a new generation of ultra-short attention span viewers on the social media platform.
Announced today, the deal covers both content production and advertising sales. It will bring two new channels to Snapchat Discover — an MTV channel in the U.S. and a Comedy Central International channel — complementing the current MTV International and U.S. Comedy Central Discover channels.
The agreement also grants Viacom the right to sell Snapchat’s U.S. owned and operated advertising inventory, allowing Viacom to offer more value to television advertising customers looking to expand their reach in the social media space. At the moment, Viacom is the only television company to have this arrangement with Snapchat. Viacom also has agreed to provide Snapchat with expanded access so it can produce Live Stories covering more of its tent pole events, including MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs), the BET Experience and MTV’s European Music Awards.
“Viacom and Snapchat naturally complement each other in significant ways that make us ideal partners in both content and business development,” said Wade Davis, chief financial officer for Viacom, in a statement. “Snapchat captures young audiences on an intimate and immersive mobile video platform while Viacom is the leader in premium long- and short-form storytelling for these same audiences. Add in Viacom’s custom marketing solutions and commitment to evolve our global mobile strategy and you’ve got a partnership that is great for both companies, for advertisers, and is a real evolution of the marketplace.”
MTV’s new Snapchat Discover channel will post new content created specifically for the platform seven days a week, including MTV News articles, as well as highlights from MTV shows such as “Greatest Party Story Ever,” “Guy Code” and “Girl Code,” and exclusive celebrity interview. MTV is also developing additional Snapchat-native content, including brand-new original series and reinvented fan-favorite franchises that will be announced later this year.
It’s not the first time MTV has made use of Snapchat in the U.S. It announced the nominations for the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards on the platform, and it has done Snapchat “takeovers” with artists such as of Nick Jonas, Miley Cyrus, Big Sean and the casts of MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” “The Shannara Chronicles” and “Are You The One?”