Snapchat, whose bread and butter, relies on live event coverage, is creating headlines with its first-of-its-kind tie-up with NBCUniversal. Snapchat will create a dedicated channel within the app that will feature content from the Olympics including daily "live stories" from the network, athletes, and fans.
The deal only covers the U.S., where NBC's parent company, Comcast, holds broadcast rights for the Olympics. This deal also helps NBC reach millennials, as more than 60 percent of people age 13 to 34 use the app. Furthermore, according to a Crowdtap study that analyzed the viewing habits of 500 U.S. men and women, 32 percent of younger millennials said they would share Olympics content through Snapchat.
Along with Snapchat, BuzzFeed, a social news and entertainment company, will also create content and some behind-the-scenes videos in one of the Snapchat's "Discover" channels, the section that includes dedicated channels for major publishers. NBC had invested $200 million last year in BuzzFeed.
Though NBC is trying to sign similar agreements with Facebook and Twitter, the deal secures Snapchat as a media distribution powerhouse because it was the first company to sign a deal of this importance. NBC and Snapchat will split the ad revenue generated from this agreement, and NBC will take the lead on ad sales.
The deal portrays how media companies are embracing newer digital media channels, for the first time, NBC has allowed Olympics content to appear on platforms other than its own. According to Dentsu data cited by the Wall Street Journal, the median viewing age for the Summer Olympics rose from 46.9 in 2008 to 48.2 in 2012. As a result, the Snapchat deal should help the network pull in younger viewers who would otherwise not watch the content.
In the meanwhile, Snapchat is trying to sign similar deals with companies that have Olympic broadcasting rights outside the U.S.