Snapchat strikes deal to sell local ads through newspaper giant Gannett
Snapchat has a new route to go after local advertising and it’s a classic one—through local newspapers owned by Gannett.
On Thursday, Snapchat made an announcement that it has a sales partnership with Gannett, the newspaper chain that also publishes USA Today. “Gannett’s sales force will be trained and enabled to sell Snapchat advertising, build operations, and manage Snap marketing campaigns with local businesses,” Snapchat said in its announcement.
Snapchat is making a push to expand its advertising base because, like many digital platforms, ad growth depends on reaching thousands and millions of small businesses. Snapchat says that Gannett has a pipeline into 100,000 small businesses across the U.S.
Snapchat has been developing more tools for local businesses in the past year. Snap Map is one feature in the app where businesses can claim their spot in Snapchat’s virtual world and promote their venues. Snapchat said that as part of its deal with Gannett it would enable local businesses to distribute coupons, which is one of the foundations of the local newspaper ad industry.
Snapchat’s sales partnership with Gannett is the first such “local” advertising relationship. Snapchat has relationships with other media and digital ad companies like NBCUniversal, which is part of its Discover program. Discover is a media channel within Snapchat where top publishers create shows and sell ads.
Snapchat also has been developing an ad network to deliver its ads to apps called the Snap Audience Network. However, the business of online ads is growing more complex as platforms controlled by Apple and Google implement privacy measures. Real world publishers like Gannett and digital publishers like Snapchat are looking for new relationships that can help secure a future for online advertising.
Snapchat has found success with its approach lately, with revenue hitting $2.5 billion in 2020, a 46% increase from 2019. It also reached 265 million daily users in the fourth quarter of 2020, up 22% year over year. Snapchat has 92 million daily users in the U.S., who would be the target of ads from Gannett. Snapchat says it will help Gannett tap into its “highly engaged millennial and Gen Z audience.”