Snapchat Struck Deal With NBC For Rio Olympics Content

What Happened
On Friday, Snapchat scored a non-exclusive deal with NBC to show highlights from the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, marking the first time the U.S. network has agreed to publish video content of the Olympics off its own digital properties. Snapchat will set up a dedicated Live Stories channel in its app to showcase content created by NBC as well as the athletes and fans on the scene. It will also work with BuzzFeed to curate short clips and behind-the-scenes content from the games in Rio for the publisher’s Snapchat Discover channel.

Why Brands Should Care
With this deal, Snapchat takes another firm step toward establishing itself as a mobile video platform. Earlier this week, the company said that its app now has 10 billion video views each day, up from 8 billion per day in February. On the other hand, NBC no doubt wants to leverage Snapchat’s popularity among teens and young adults to expand the reach of its Olympics content. Given that both Live Stories and Discover channels feature ads, brands now have another reason to advertise on Snapchat to reach the app’s young users.


Source: Bloomberg

Live-Streaming Video Starts To Explode

What Happened
As Facebook makes a strong push for media owners to use its Live Video feature to broadcast on its platform, live-streaming is quickly moving up on the priority lists of publishers and content creators. Last Friday, BuzzFeed scored almost three million viewers on Facebook with its live-stream of a simplistic-yet-captivating experiment of putting rubber bands on a watermelon until it burst from the tightening force. The end result was a glorious watermelon explosion as well as a victory for Buzzfeed as the live stream attracted 808,000 concurrent viewers at its peak and 2.8 million viewers overall.  

In related news, Al Roker, famed TV personality and host of NBC’s Today, has launched a digital video network that produces content for live-streaming platforms, including Facebook, Twitter’s Periscope, YouTube, and YouNow. Roker is no stranger to live-streaming as he hosted a live cooking series on Meerkat last year.

What Brands Need To Do
As an emerging medium, live-streaming has been gaining momentum recently and increasingly drawing mainstream audiences. Last week, Periscope hit a milestone of 200 million live broadcasts since its launch one year ago. Facebook’s Live Video feature officially rolled out to all users in early February. Some early-adopting brands such as GE and Calvin Klein have followed the eyeballs and started live-streaming on those platforms. For brands seeking to engage with online audiences in real time, Buzzfeed’s fun experiment provides a good example in how brands can use simple, creative premises to devise compelling, suspenseful content that captures consumer attention.

Check back later this week for our coverage of Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference, where Live Video will most likely be one of the products that Facebook highlights.


Source: The Verge and Variety

Header image courtesy of  BuzzFeed’s Facebook Video

SXSW 2016: Buzzfeed Launches New Ad Product To Help Brands Reach Social Audience

What Happened
Buzzfeed, master of viral videos and sponsored content, announced at SXSW on Saturday that it is launching a new premium ad product designed to help brand advertisers better reach audiences on mobile, desktop, and various social channels where Buzzfeed has built strong followings. The new ad product, Swarm, will allow brands to run campaigns simultaneously across all of Buzzfeed’s web and mobile properties, as well as six of its social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Vine, and Snapchat Discover.

What Brands Need To Do
As media consumption continues to fragment, it is becoming increasingly important for brands to reach out to consumers on as many media platforms as possible. This new ad product from Buzzfeed can mitigate some of the stress of running a multi-channel ad campaign, and also give brands a comprehensive look at where they are most likely to find their target audience. Last month, NBCUniversal also launched a new ad division specifically for handling multi-channel ad campaigns. As new holistic ad products become available, brands would be wise to experiment with such products to get in front of more people.


Source: AdWeek

Mobile World Congress 2016: Get Ready For More Mobile Videos As Companies Push For 5G

What Happened
Today marks the third day of the 2016 Mobile World Congress, where plans for 5G network have been dominating the conversation. Companies like Intel, Nokia, and wireless equipment supplier Ericsson all revealed their plans to push for the new wireless technology. Ericsson said it would start 5G radio test-bed trials this year, but pegged the full commercial roll-out of the networks at 2020. As more and more connected devices and data-rich personalized services become available, the demand for faster and more powerful networks will only grow.

Besides the developments in IoT, another driving force behind the push for 5G networks is the increasing consumption of mobile video. A 2015 study from the IAB confirms that 35% of viewers are watching more video on their smartphones, and they prefer to watch videos in apps rather than on the mobile web. Therefore, it is no surprise that Buzzfeed, the leading site in creating viral videos and branded content, announced at Mobile World Congress yesterday that it is launching a mobile app for binge-watching Buzzfeed videos. Available for both iOS and Android, the app currently carries no ads, but Buzzfeed says it plans to roll out native advertising down the road.

What Brands Need To Do
As digital video continues to draw consumer attention away from linear TV content and print media, brands must follow the eyeballs and start developing fun or useful branded video content to engage the audience, and take full advantage of the mobile video boom to reach customers. One way to do so is working with experienced publishers like Buzzfeed to create branded videos and distribute them through their content portals. But thanks to the field-leveling power of streaming platforms, where branded video content can live alongside traditional media content, brands can consider developing their own video apps as well.

To read more on how brands can reach viewers on mobile and OTT platforms with branded content, please check out the Appified TV section in our Outlook 2016.

Header image courtesy of

Buzzfeed Now Allows Branded Content Into Its Entertainment Content

What Happened
Earlier this week, BuzzFeed updated its editorial standards to allow its “non-news” editorial staffers to participate in the creation of branded content, encouraging collaborations between its editorial and advertising staff. The company has been a leader in establishing a new business model for digital publishing and breaking down the traditional separation between editorial and advertising is likely to continue. The change makes it possible for brands to sponsor segments of Buzzfeed’s scripted entertainment products, including digital videos and podcasts.

What Brands Need To Do
With the rise of ad-blockers, more and more brands are turning to native advertising via content sponsorships and branded content, which Buzzfeed is a master of. With its digital videos amassing over 1 billion monthly video views, Buzzfeed’s policy change makes its entire content talent pool available for brands to tap into and reach Buzzfeed’s predominantly Millennial and Gen Z audience.


Source: Poynter


What Brands Can Learn From Buzzfeed’s Tracking Tool “Pound”

Read original story on: TechCrunch

Pound, which stands for Process for Optimizing and Understanding Network Diffusion, is the secret weapon that viral content website BuzzFeed developed in order to track content attribution beyond just counting social media shares and clicks. By tracking content sharing as “an oscillating, anonymous hash in a sharer’s URL as a UTM code”, the tool enables BuzzFeed to track how a story travels between users across social networks or platforms, without collecting personally identifiable information.

A true cross-platform tracking tool, Pound reveals new insights into attribution by tapping into its inherent tree structure that traditional web analytics are unequipped to capture. One major insight Buzzfeed shared is that social networks can drive an entire “downstream cascade” type of sharing. This has led Buzzfeed to develop a different publishing process, in which a core team of people making content pushes that content to different platforms, including the website, the Buzzfeed app, or sometimes YouTube, with varied priority. Moreover, BuzzFeed claims that sponsored content is shared just like regular editorial content.

BuzzFeed Ventures Into Ecommerce-enabled Content

After some successes with native content advertising, BuzzFeed is moving into new territory. Earlier this week, the viral content site debuted its first foray into ecommerce-enabled content with a L’Oreal sponsored post that features a click-to-buy link for readers to purchase products that are relevant to the post. Such integration could help BuzzFeed and the sponsors better quantify the impact of branded content, but whether it can successfully drive up digital sales remains to be seen.

What Are Native Ads, Anyway?

The term “Native Advertising” has officially lost its luster and its meaning for that matter. As the industry becomes more polarized towards programatic display and custom creative, it appears that every publisher has some form of advertising they are labeling native. A great post from Ad Age mentions the various forms of Native ads from advertorials, promoted tweets, search ads and sponsored content. While they are not all created equal, they will definitely become more prominent in the next year or so. Check out the full story to hear the differences.

CNN & Buzzfeed Announce Social Video Studio

Buzzfeed and CNN announced a partnership with a video clip that appeared on Buzzfeed’s site this morning. The new combination of media outlets aim to bring news to younger viewers by launching a news-based YouTube channel. Buzzfeed will build out a social video studio that is designed to create news, entertainment, and other video content that can be posted on the channel. The goal seems to be to bring viral energy to CNN while building out Buzzfeed’s place in the crowded media marketplace. 

Buzzfeed Introduces The Reaction Cam

Buzzfeed illicits some of the biggest reactions on the web so it’s not surprising to see they’ve figured out a way to let users get in on the action, all sponsored by Starbucks. Introduced as the reaction cam, users will be able to create and share three-second animated Gifs in response to Starbucks sponsored content on the site.  From GIFs to song remixes and six second videos, brands have never been in a better position to enable content creation through technology.