Media giant Viacom confirmed on Tuesday it is entering a multi-year ad sales partnership with Snapchat.
It means Viacom’s “Velocity” division will sell ads on Snapchat’s behalf on the photo and video-sharing app’s owned and operated content, such as its Live Stories section.
Viacom will also be adding new channels to the Discover section on the app, where publishers and other media owners place content — Comedy Central on Discover will be getting an international version, while MTV will be getting a native US Discover channel. However, Viacom won’t be selling ads on behalf of the other content creators in the Discover section, like Vice or The Wall Street Journal.
As The Wall Street Journal pointed out on Monday, Viacom’s executive chairman and chief executive Philippe Dauman has taken “an unusually granular interest” in Snapchat, down to choosing the colour of the Comedy Central icon in the Discover section.
Business Insider understands Jeff Lucas, Viacom’s ad sales chief, has also been serving as an adviser to the company over the past few months — ahead of this deal being announced.
Philip O’Ferrall, Viacom International Media Networks SVP, told Business Insider he expects the partnership to add meaningful ad revenue to the MTV and Comedy Central-owner “without a doubt.”
“We as an organisation continue to strike relationships with these third party platforms, which we think fit well. Linear TV channels for the most part are distributed among a few partners like Sky, and Liberty Media, the list is long. Our viewers are on all the platforms, linear TV and digital, and they use them every day,” O’Ferrall said. “Every time one of these platforms launches it adds to our reach and allows us to create revenue. Honestly, I’m really excited by this space. Instead of treating it like a threat it’s absolutely a great extension to our business.”
For Snapchat, the deal should help to accelerate its advertising sales function. It is not ceding ownership of ad sales on the platform fully to Viacom, but it should serve to boost revenue — particularly among TV buyers who can now build their media plans with Viacom across its TV channels, digital properties, and now bundle in Snapchat too.
More to follow
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