AUSTIN, Texas — NowThis, a media company that distributes video news on social networks, is touting more than 1 billion video views per month. Now, that number seems poised for a bump.
Snapchat added NowThis to the Discover section of the app, which is an exclusive set of media publishers that includes 20 other brands in the U.S. edition. NowThis covers breaking news and culture and creates content specifically for other services, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. NowThis is the No. 1 news video publisher to Facebook, according to Tubular Labs.
“We’ve had a very open dialogue with Snapchat for a while about wanting to participate,” Athan Stephanopoulos, president of NowThis, told International Business Times.
This year, NowThis has an election to cover. For 2016, the presidential campaign will be a major part of NowThis on Discover. Monday’s channel included a video titled “Will Your Vote Be Counted?” which included information on how to register to vote. “These are not just tools to communicate and distribute content, but this is a demographic and an audience that wants to get involved,” Stephanopoulos said.
On launch day Monday, NowThis started its feed with a story saying, “Happy Pi Day!” and a YouTube video of a song from the account “aSongScout” that was cut for vertical video. It also covered news from South by Southwest, the annual tech and media conference here in Austin.
Snapchat boasts more than 100 million daily active users. An estimated 86 percent of its users in the U.S. are 13 to 34 years old, according to Snapchat’s internal data. NowThis also caters its content to a millennial audience with about 74 percent of viewers under the age of 34. “We believe news should be fun, easy to access and never feel like homework. Joining Discover means we can continue to reach a young audience that is typically ignored by traditional media,” Sarah Frank, editor of NowThis, said in a statement.
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 14, 2016
Founded in 2012, NowThis has 10 people working on the Discover channel, including employees who were previously focused on content for Snapchat Stories. The NowThis channel will run every day. “We were very well positioned for filling out a Snapchat team,” Stephanopoulos said.
Snapchat backs those claims of NowThis’s ability and credibility. Both companies are focused on video content for mobile. Not every media outlet and publisher has maintained a stay or been able to secure a spot. For instance, Yahoo and Warner Music Group were a part of the launch group but no longer run channels.
“NowThis was an early adopter of Snapchat and really understands how to story-tell through mobile video. We’re thrilled to have them join the Discover family,” Nick Bell, vice president of content at Snapchat, said in a statement.
General Electric signed on as the advertising partner for NowThis’s launch and ran video ads about Pi Day. Based in New York, NowThis is supported by $27 million in venture capital funding. German publisher Axel Springer led its $16.2 million Series D round in December 2015.