- Hearst is ramping up its Snapchat output.
- Four of the company’s publications will now produce new Snapchat Discover content twice a week.
- Hearst says each of its Snapchat channels pulls 2 million unique readers per edition every week.
Even as some publishers scale back on Snapchat Discover or look to pivot to producing shows for the platform, Hearst is doubling down on its efforts on Snapchat Discover.
Starting this week, the media company is ramping up the frequency of four of its brands on the platform, including Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Popular Mechanics and Road & Track. Discover is Snapchat’s content hub, where over 70 media partners globally program digital magazines with dozens of videos, articles and quizzes.
While the four Discover channels were earlier updated weekly, they will now have fresh content twice a week. All four brands each launched on the platform within the past six months and have their own dedicated Snapchat Discover teams, said Hearst.
“We saw that the channels all exceeded our expectations from an audience and engagement perspective right out of the gate,” Brian Madden, vp of audience at Hearst Digital, told Business Insider. “We had more people reading the stories and spending more time with the stories than we had expected.”
Specifically, each of the brands was averaging at 2 million unique visitors per edition every week, according to Hearst, with a chunk of the audience spending more than 10 minutes per edition. And 75% of this audience was between the ages of 13 and 24.
By increasing the amount of content it churns out for the publications, Hearst hopes to both improve its engagement and interaction with its existing audience, as well as also drive more loyalty from casual visitors by offering them a broader range of content more frequently.
“We have found the Snapchat audience to be a very engaged audience,” said Madden. “We want to engage with this audience on a more frequent basis.”
Hearst is also looking to boost its revenue by monetizing a larger, recurring audience. By having two editions per week instead of one for the four publications, its sales team has double the opportunities to sell sponsored editions to advertisers looking for deeper content alignment.
“Starting with one story a week was an opportunity to understand what the audience wanted and cared about,” said Madden. “Now that we know that, we can capitalise on it.”
The move stands in contrast to other publishers like CNN and Comedy Central, who have both recently pulled back on their Discover output in order to focus on producing shows on Snapchat. The platform itself is touting its ability to foster shows, and some publishers are worried hat it is moving away from its original ‘digital magazine’ concept that underpinned Discover.
In contrast, Hearst has always been bullish on Snapchat Discover and seems to continue to be so. Hearst’s Cosmopolitan has been publishing daily on Snapchat Discover since it launched in January 2015. The company also launch an new publication in partnership with Snapchat that lives and breathes entirely on the platform called Sweet, apart from a weekly channel for Seventeen.
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