Snapchat Tests Subs To Make Up Lost iOS Ad Revenue; Big Things Come In Short Packages

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One Plus One Plus One Plus One Plus … 

Snapchat is testing a paid subscription service called … wait for it … Snapchat+. It would cost about $5 per month or $50 per year.

Details were first posted to Twitter by mobile researcher Alessandro Paluzzi. 

Subscribers would have access to early product tests and features (duh), the names of users who rewatch their stories and their friends’ whereabouts in the past 24 hours, plus a couple of cosmetic tools, including the ability to change the Snapchat icon and a #1 BFF badge pinned to the account, which sounds like something creators could monetize by auctioning it off to fans. 

Streaming TV services were some of the first to use the “plus” moniker and apparently so effectively that now practically any service with a recurring fee must use the term: Walmart, Instacart+, PlayStation+ and Salesforce+ have all joined the March of the Pluses.

But social media, delivery and mobile players are getting into subscriptions not as a CTV extension, but because Apple’s ATT policy made their ad businesses less profitable – or potentially even unworkable in some cases. Snapchat+ is a close cousin to Twitter Blue, Twitter’s subscription tier, which launched in beta form late last year.

Big ups to Twitter for defying the “plus” trend.

Working On My Short Game

YouTube Shorts – which are, you guessed it, short – were viewed by more than 1.5 billion people in April, the company boasted last week to The Wall Street Journal. Shorts, YouTube’s answer to the short-form video craze, first rolled out in India only back in 2020. But now Shorts are on US shores, and it’s a huge content engine for YouTube.

Or is it? 

TikTok showed it can crank up the dial on videos to get tens of millions of views in a matter of hours, and Shorts demonstrates YouTube’s algorithmic power.

Videos generally don’t go viral on YouTube like they do on TikTok. But if YouTube puts a quick, funny vid in front of a billion people, they’ll watch it. Shorts is also a super-easy way for TikTokers to repurpose videos for YouTube.

Meta took the opposite approach, requiring content be made on its creative platform for Facebook and Instagram, rather than allowing TikToks without the watermark. But YouTube doesn’t care. It’s more than happy to take those billions of views, easy engagement and ad share, thank you very much. 

Shorts has even inspired TikTok. Until February, TikTok allowed videos of up to 15 seconds in length. Now, TikTok videos can be up to one-minute long – which is the maximum for a YouTube Shorts post.

Walmart On The Wall

Roku announced a partnership with Walmart last week to integrate so-called “streaming commerce” into its ad offering.

Walmart is the first retailer to enable shoppable ads on Roku.

During its recent NewFront presentation in May, Roku executives touted plans for shoppable ads in less conventional formats, including product placement overlays. The streaming platform also claims that viewers are five times more likely to click “OK” on their Roku remotes than to scan a QR code to make a purchase.

Now, viewers that press “OK” on a shoppable Roku ad will be whisked directly to Walmart’s online checkout. Because payment info will be pre-populated by Roku Pay, people will be able to purchase an item and receive their shipping information right from Walmart, according to a release.

“We’re making shopping on TV as easy as it is on social,” says Peter Hamilton, Roku’s head of TV commerce. “Streaming commerce brings the same ease and convenience to marketers and shoppers.” 

The Walmart integration began as one of multiple pilot tests Roku will be running on shoppable ads, so don’t expect Walmart to be the exclusive retailer forever – or even just this year.

But Wait, There’s More!

NBCU is expanding its partnership with Apple to become the exclusive seller of ads for the Apple News and Stocks apps in the UK. (NBCU has been selling ads for Apple in the US since 2017.) [Reuters]

So sue me: How “private right of action” is affecting data privacy legislation. [Morning Brew]

Shields: Why is Facebook sitting out CTV? [blog]

Apple is missing from the list of major tech companies agreeing to new EU rules to fight disinformation. [9to5Mac]

R3 acquires ad intelligence platform Adbrands. [Marketing Interactive]

In defense of online anonymity. [WSJ]

You’re Hired!

GroupM makes new leadership appointments, including Colin Barlow as COO and Silvia Sparry as chief transformation officer. [release]

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