Snapchat exec claims app's hit show draws a bigger audience than 'Game of Thrones'
In the grand tradition of social media companies comparing their users to TV audiences, Snapchat Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman claimed on Wednesday that the app’s hit show “Endless Summer” is putting up “Game of Thrones”-type numbers.
Gorman took the stage at Advertising Week New York to introduce guest star Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show and used the opportunity to run through some of Snapchat’s audience numbers first. Gorman noted that “Endless Summer,” a Snapchat show created by Bunim Murray Productions, garnered more viewers than the finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
Gorman said that 28 million people (unique viewers) watched “Endless Summer” in its first season in 2018. “Compare that to people who watched the ‘Game of Thrones’ series finale, which was 25 million,” Gorman said.
She also took a swipe at the Emmy Awards show from Sunday, which had the smallest TV audience in its history at 6.9 million viewers. She said Snapchat has an audience of 203 million people every day, who consume 10 billion videos. “I’m not going to compare it to anything too specific other than to say this is more than the number of people who watched the Emmys on Sunday, I think,” Gorman said.
Snapchat is not the first platform to try to make the case that it reaches TV-level viewership. For years, one of the favorite refrains of Facebook execs was that the social network reaches a “Super Bowl-size audience” every day.
Advertisers are not necessarily sold on the hype from digital-first platforms, however, as TV continues to be the more prestigious medium for major campaigns. The TV Upfronts, when networks land advertisers for upcoming shows, generated $21.25 billion in spending this year, according to eMarketer. Meanwhile, the Newfronts, the digital equivalent to TV Upfronts, generated $4.4 billion.
Total TV ad spending in the U.S. is expected to be $67.2 billion in 2019,
Television viewers are more highly coveted because they tune into shows regularly, watch for longer and are in a consumption mindset. Digital platforms are trying to mimic that attention by producing higher-quality shows, giving users episodic programs to keep them coming back.
Snapchat viewers watch for six minutes at a time, Gorman said. Gorman recognized that keeping viewers’ attention on mobile devices can be a challenge, though. “Mobile video is different,” Gorman said. “Somebody can skip your content.”
On Wednesday, Snapchat announced a new lineup of shows, including a docuseries from Complex, “Tekashi69 Vs The World,” which will tell the story of the hip-hop star’s rise to fame and downfall. In all, Snapchat announced seven new titles, to add to the nearly 100 shows it has launched since 2016.
The company produces original shows and opens its Discover media section to partners to post their own series and videos. It works with media companies like BuzzFeed, NBC Universal, Viacom, Disney, The New York Times and others.
Noah, “The Daily Show” host, participated in Advertising Week to discuss the future of mobile video with Snapchat. “The Daily Show” launched its first channel there in July, and now has 5 million viewers, according to Snapchat.