Forbes—397 brands such as Lyft, Pepsi, Exxon, and Olay bought video ads on Snapchat’s 52 Discover channels between November of 2017 and January 2018, according to a new study by MediaRadar, an ad intelligence company.
All told, Snap, the company that publishes the Snapchat app, is forecast to take in about $1.7 billion in advertising this year.
The small number of advertisers highlights Snapchat’s key differences from Facebook or other social apps when it comes to monetization.
Much of Snapchat advertising is in its channels, which are hosted by publishers such as Mashable, the Bleacher Report, the New York Times, the NFL, or Buzzfeed, rather than embedded in a social stream. And where Facebook has more than five million advertisers ranging from globally-known brands to the dry cleaner down the street, Snapchat focuses on big buys from big brands, each of whom is chasing much more limited inventory.
In fact, the average channel has only carried 24 individual advertisers since November. Brands typically buy four to five channels on Snapchat, MediaRadar says, and no advertisers attempted to get blanket coverage across all of them.
The most common ad length is 10 seconds long, with some as short as five seconds.
Interestingly, advertisers on Snapchat are concentrated in the entertainment space, with 48% of all advertisers. Technology and retail are the second and third-largest categories, with 13% and 12% of all ad buys respectively.
Advertisers can also buy lenses on Snapchat. They’re typically augmented reality filters that turn your face into a fox or add comical elements such as a large nose. Only 37 advertisers purchased these nationally between November and January, but buyers were much more distributed across product and business categories.
Retail is conspicuously absent here, but Media and Entertainment is still the top category, at 26% of all buys. Interestingly, beauty, which you might think could be a big buyer here, is only 6%.
Advertisers have expressed concerning Snapchat’s ad tools, but the company has expanded its capability in recent months, adding commerce directly in ads, and opening up its API to any brand, agency, or developer earlier this month. Some analysts believe these and other changes have Snapchat poised to grow in 2018.
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John Koetsier is a journalist, analyst, and speaker. He analyzes and forecasts mobile trends for TUNE. Follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.