Snapchat Inks First TV Deal With Univision

Photo Site Helps Viewers Share Social-Media Soccer Stories
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User-generated photojournalism is coming to Univision, thanks to a first-of-its-kind partnership between social-media platform Snapchat and the nation’s largest Hispanic TV network.

The arrangement officially began July 26, with Univision’s coverage of soccer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup final. The concluding match of the main tournament, featuring men’s national teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean, saw Mexico defeat Jamaica 3-1 in Philadelphia.

Throughout the game, Snapchat users helped to create “unique Live Stories” around the event. Snapchat users attending the event use the Live Stories offer their own perspectives through uploaded photos and videos, creating a collective visual tale.

Snapchat curates each Live Story, capturing how participants experience the event from every angle. Each Live Story is several minutes in length and available for Snapchat users to view for 24 hours.

The partnership builds upon a Live Story built around an April Mexico-United States men’s soccer friendly featuring that aired on Univision Deportes. Snapchat and Univision are exploring a Live Story tied to the Copa America Centenario for summer 2016; Univision hopes to extend Live Stories to its proprietary awards shows, such as Premios Juventud and Premio lo Nuestro.

“Snapchat is the perfect platform for us to extend our reach among young, highly digital Hispanics who consume our content on mobile,” Univision Digital executive vice president and general manager Mark Lopez said. “Our audience responded incredibly well to our first engagement with Snapchat around the U.S. versus Mexico friendly, and we knew immediately that we had to align more of our content with Snapchat’s platform, to enhance the stories and commentary around live events.”

Ben Schwerin, director of partnerships at Snapchat, added: “Snapchat Live Stories throw our community into the action of events, creating a very unique and personal fan experience. We’re excited to be able to bring Univision fans new and old closer to the action of their major sports matches and more.”

Snapchat is eager to win marketers looking to reach Hispanic teens and young adults. With 26 million users in the U.S. sending out roughly 400 million “snaps” every day, half of whom are age 16 to 24, using Snapchat to engage with Latinos seems like a no-brainer, given population trends.

According to company data, 22% of U.S. Snapchat users (some 6.6 million people) are Hispanics. This information was extrapolated from U.S. Census Bureau demographics for the age segment, Snapchat said, and does not take into consideration that Hispanics are early technology adopters and use social network more frequently than their white non-Hispanic counterparts.

Pew Research Center’s 2015 Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview noted that African-American and Hispanic youth report more frequent Internet use than white teen-agers. Some 34% of African-American teens say they go online “almost constantly,” as do 32% of Hispanic teens, while 19% of white teens go online that often.

Research was conducted from Sept. 25-Oct. 9, 2014, and from Feb. 10-March 16 of this year. Pew found that 11% of all teens, regardless of ethnicity, used Snapchat.

Several brands actively targeting Hispanic consumers, including Nissan and Coca-Cola, have already engaged in Snapchat marketing initiatives. The question now is whether or not such forward-thinking advertisers will buy in to sponsor Live Stories. If so, Univision could be one step ahead in becoming a bigger 360-oriented media entity.

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