Snap’s Peter Naylor Talks NewFronts, Creators And Cord Cutters

Peter Naylor, Snap’s VP of Americas

What are advertisers looking for during this year’s NewFronts?

In Peter Naylor’s view, they want alternatives as audiences move away from commercially supported broadcast and cable to ad-free viewing environments.

“The old ways are contracting and the old plays aren’t getting the same results as they used to,” said Naylor, Snap’s VP of Americas and a former Hulu executive.

He pointed to a stat that should alarm broadcasters and serve as an eye opener to advertisers: according to Nielsen, 40% of total ratings points have gone away in the past few years.

Marketers are tuning into the NewFronts because they’re on the hunt for a potential TV replacement, Naylor said. And they want to know what’s going on with the digital natives.

Snap knows a thing or two about digital natives. During its NewFronts presentation this week, it touted its popularity among young people as one of its biggest selling points for advertisers.

Snap also took the opportunity to talk about its new ad products, including a Creator Marketplace that connects brands with talent and allows creators to plug directly into Snap’s advertising ecosystem. The Creator Marketplace will launch this month with a select group of augmented reality creators before expanding to an open marketplace early next year that includes all Snap creators.

Naylor spokes with AdExchanger.

How will the Creator Marketplace benefit marketers?

The first thing we're going to do in our Creator Marketplace is marry our best augmented reality lens creators with our marketers to help them take advantage of the AR opportunity.

Marketers are tapping into people who have followings or expertise on our platform, and they're leveraging that expertise or that following for their own advantage. Not only will they be on Snap, but they'll do so in a way that is very authentic and really suitable for the brand.

That will be in beta this spring and summer. Toward the end of the year, we'll marry our creators in places like Spotlight, our short-form scrolling video feature, with our marketers so they can create stuff that resonates with a creator’s audience. By early 2022 it'll all be out of beta.

How will the buying work in the Creators Marketplace?

All we seek to do is to make those marriages happen in the marketplace. We will not take a cut of whatever deal they strike with one another.

The benefit to us is increased engagement from the marketer, of course, and the creators have a chance to earn a living on the platform. We think whatever they come up with will be entertaining and informational and all that good stuff for the audience, so it's a win, win, win for everybody.

Why does Snapchat think it can be a destination for cord cutters? No doubt Snap has great content and shows, but how does it intend to compete with Hulu and Netflix and all these other streaming services?

I think it's a platform that drives an audience for different reasons, and we've got 280 million people coming to the platform every day. What's distinct about our audience is that there's such a high concentration of young adults. We have 90% of 13- to 24-year-olds in this country, and when you open the aperture to 13 to 34, it's 75%. They're spending a lot of time with us for a lot of reasons and the primary reason is that they’re talking to their friends.

And we continue to roll out new services to make it a sticky app. The average Snapchatter opens the app 30 times a day. Why? Because a big part of the offering is video, both curated, original and now from our creators.

All of that storytelling happens in the app, mobile-only, 24 hours a day. I think that's what's attractive to marketers – a high concentration of young people who are cord cutters or cord-nevers.

This is an audience of people who may not remember or may not even know what life was like without a mobile phone. It's completely and totally native to them. Is it going to replace watching a long-form movie on demand? No. But it is going to be supplemental to their media diet.

What sort of ad inventory is most appealing to TV and digital buyers on Snapchat?

We rolled out something called Snap Select last year, which pulls completely brand safe video from our originals group as well as our partners.

When you look at the buying community, what they're really looking for is incremental audience. That's one of the biggest words at the NewFronts this year: incremental, as in what is incremental to your base plan. And while the base plan of television continues to contract, Snap has proven to be very popular with all those new audiences that really matter.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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