Snapchat inks deal with the NFL for exclusive content

Steven Loeb · September 17, 2015 · Short URL:

The two companies will create content on a weekly basis that will last through the Super Bowl

The National Football League has been taking a pounding in the media for a while, with the whole domestic violence fiasco last year and the Deflate-gate controversy that has been hounding it since the end of last season. Still, it remains the most popular sport in the country. The NFL's revenue is estimated to be a whopping $9.5 billion per year, so there is big money to be made wherever it goes..

The league has also been the best of any sport about making strategic partnerships with media companies. It has had a longstanding deal with Twitter, which it extended last month, and now it is joining up with the up and coming star in the space: Snapchat.

On Thursday, the NFL and Snapchat announced a partnership that will deliver NFL content to fans through Snapchat’s Live Story product.

The two companies are coming together to create a weekly programming schedule that will extend throughout the postseason, including the Super Bowl next year. All 32 teams will be featured. The content actually made its debut during the first week of the NFL’s 2015 season, but it only being revealed now, for some reason.

Each NFL Live Story, which will be curated by Snapchat, will combine fan-submitted Snaps, from users who have their location services on at select NFL event and game locations, and official inside access content. That means that each story will the perspective of fans and from the League.

The next NFL Live Story will go live on Thursday, ahead of the Thursday Night Football game between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. It will be available on Snapchat for 24 hours.

Here is the most important part: the NFL and Snapchat will offer brands the opportunity to advertise within the Live Story. I mean, of course they will. There is a huge amount of money to be made here. 

Though it has dabbled in other forms of monetization, advertising is still the go-to for Snapchat to make money. 

The company started running ads in October of last year in its Recent Updates section, where users are able to post Stories, which remain visible for 24 hours. Users would be able to choose whether or not they wanted to see those ads.

It got really serious about them at the beginning of this year. In January it launched the Discover feature, as a way for editorial teams to put up their own Stories. Live Stories is similar to Discover, in that content stays up for a day instead of only seconds, but it is more location based, as in all of the content will revolve around a singular event. Like a football game.

The only questions now are, one, how much does Snapchat expect to make from this deal? I wouldn't expect any specifics from the company on this, but I bet the answer is "a lot." Two, how will the two side divide revenue?

For the answer to that one, the best predictor is probably its partnership with Twitter.

Twitter and Snapchat partnered up in 2013, through the Twitter Amplify program, its video advertising product that it had launched for media companies and consumer brands. The two sides extended that deal over the summer to include more content, such as ingame highlights from pre-season through the Super Bowl, as well as breaking news and analysis, best plays, custom game recaps, fun infographics, behind-the-scenes content, and archival video.

As Re/Code points out, the extension also changed the way the two sides divided up revenue. In its original deal with Twitter, the NFL split revenue down the middle. In the latest iteration, the NFL is paid up front for the content it provides, and Twitter collects the revenue. That makes it so that the NFL comes out with revenue, whether or not any ads are sold. 

Advertising is not Snapchat's only revenue stream. This summer the company teamed with Square for the launch of a payments feature called Snapcash, allowing users to send each other money. And earlier this week it debuted paid Replays, allowing its users to pay to rewatch their Snaps. 

For now, though, advertising is still its main source of revenue and there's no better partner for that than the NFL.

VatorNews has reached out to Snapchat for more specifics about its deal with the NFL. We will update this story if we learn more.

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