Snapchat starts showing six second ads that can't be skipped over

Snapchat users started seeing a new kind of ad on the platform on Monday morning. The ads are unskippable, forcing subscribers to watch all six seconds of them. They appear only in Shows, which are episodic programs produced by top media companies like Disney, Viacom and NBCUniversal. The initial ads were for the Samsung Galaxy S9, upcoming movies Deadpool 2 and Adrift, and non-carbonated beverage Snapple.

Snapchat has been showing ads since 2014, but allowed users to skip them if they weren't interested in what was being promoted. Several anonymous Snapchat advertisers claim that the average viewing time of the skippable ads came in at less than two seconds, making advertisers unhappy. But the new ads seem to agree with everyone from the advertisers to the studios making the shows on Snapchat. The latter are creating six second breaks in their episodes to sell even though most ads come from Snapchat's automated ad platform.

Not everything about the new ads is positive. Besides being a pain for Snapchat users, the ads don't offer any links to a full video or an ecommerce experience, which can be found on Snapchat's usual ads. But with the company's shares cut in half from the 52-week high near 22, Snapchat needs to earn some serious coin and advertisers won't pay for two seconds of exposure.

For the first quarter of 2018, the number of Daily Average Users on the app rose only 2.1% from the fourth quarter of 2017, to 191 million. Snapchat needs to get more subscribers to use the app so that it can charge higher rates for its ads. A redesign recently rolled out to Snapchat's iOS app in an attempt to undo the damage that its previous UI redesign caused. In addition, Snapchat has launched a new line of AR based games using its Lenses, called Snappables.

All of these changes won't be around for a full three month period until the third quarter, which runs from July through September. The results from Q3 2018 will determine whether or not these new changes have turned things around for Snapchat.

source: AdAge

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