Snapchat's adding another new monetization opportunity for Snap creators, with mid-roll ads for Snap Star Stories, providing a directly attributable revenue pathway for the app’s biggest stars.
As explained by Snap, soon, Snap creators will be able to switch on ads within their Stories, with a cut of any revenue generated by those ads then allocated back to the creator.
Though the specific revenue cut here is not entirely transparent – according to Snap, the revenue share from these ads will be based on its proprietary payment formula, “which may include a number of factors such as posting frequency and audience engagement”.
Snapchat already applies its payment formula to its TikTok-like Spotlight funding, with creator payments allocated based on a range of factors including:
“The total number of unique video views attributable to your specific Snap, the relative performance of your Snaps compared to other Snaps in Spotlight, and the geographic location of your Snaps and/or users viewing your Snaps.”
It would seem that inserting ads into Stories would be more directly attributable to each creator’s performance, as the view counts are specific to that Story. But Snap looks to be taking a unique approach to its funding - which could, potentially, be of more benefit to creators. Or maybe not – we don’t know because it’s unclear what, exactly, Snap will factor into its calculations.
But either way Snap’s top creators will be able to get at least some money from ads inserted into their Stories, which will provide another pathway to monetization, while it will also give advertisers another opportunity to reach more specific, engaged audiences in the app with their campaigns.
But the main focus is on helping top Snapchatters earn more money for their efforts, which, ideally, will keep them posting to the app more often. With the competition for attention heating up, every social app is now looking to win over creators, in order to get them posting as much as possible, which will ultimately keep more users engaged, more often, and keep them coming back to their platforms to check in on the latest creator updates.
TikTok has upped the ante in this respect, sparking a whole new flood of content creators aligned around short video clips. But TikTok’s monetization processes are not as refined as those on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or indeed Snapchat, which is why each is now scrambling to highlight the benefits of posting to their platforms instead, to win back attention from the rising video app.
Indeed, over the past two years, Snapchat has rolled out Spotlight funding, an AR creator fund, Creator Gifting and its Creator Marketplace to help brands find creators to partner with on campaigns, which all enable broader monetization potential for top creators, while also fueling Snap’s creative pipeline.
Some of those initiatives have proven challenging, with Snap facing several questions about its funding model for Spotlight in particular, but the broader impetus is to build a more functional, sustainable creator ecosystem, which will help ensure that Snap can maximize its content opportunities.
And again, with the competition for attention rising, it’s important for Snap, and all platforms, to explore every opportunity in this respect, in order to maintain their place as key connective apps.
Snap’s Star Stories ads are now in beta testing with a selection of US-based creators in the app.