WPP Doubles Down On Snapchat; Google Tests Snapchat-Like Search Results

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Snapping Back

Some investors might be down on Snap, but WPP sure isn’t. CEO Martin Sorrell told CNBC that the the holding company is doubling its Snapchat spend, from $100 million in 2016 to $200 million this year. Despite that vote of confidence, Sorrell cautioned against reading too much into it, especially given how much $200 million pales in comparison to the billions WPP pours into Facebook: “You're talking about a flea on the elephant's backside," he said during the CNBC show “Squawk Box.” More. In other Snapchat news, the company rolled out a tool similar to Facebook’s Power Editor called Advanced Mode to let marketers make creative in bulk for its platform, TechCrunch reports. Everyone’s copying everyone... More.

Put A Stamp On It

Case in point: Google is testing a product called Stamp that will return search queries with snippets of media content in the style of Snapchat’s Discover feature, reports The Wall Street Journal. The product is built around AMP, Google’s product for fast-loading mobile web pages. Stamp stories will surface when users enter search queries or use other Google products. Users can swipe on Stamp slides to engage with content just like they do on Snap’s Discover, and Google has plans to extend Stamps to publishers’ owned properties as well. So far, Google has spoken to Vox, CNN, The Washington Post, Mic and Time Inc. about the format. Google has flopped before in social media (remember Google Plus?), but Stamp’s potential integrations across search and the Google ad network present a sizable built-in audience. More.

Nest Eggs

Sports like lacrosse and surfing, which don’t have large audiences on linear TV, are finding fans on Twitter and other online platforms. For instance, when ESPN streamed the professional indoor lacrosse playoffs last year, it averaged 4,000 viewers, reports Bloomberg. This year, the league averaged more than 340,000 viewers for its weekly game streamed on Twitter. So it’s become a “must” for less popular sports to make their content available online or through OTT platforms. And putting content on digital channels gives smaller sports leagues the opportunity to build more lucrative sponsorship deals. Bloomberg notes the National Lacrosse League “now has new revenue sources: ad sales from weekly Twitter games and its own NLL TV, along with more than 25,000 subscribers paying up to $34.95 a year.” More.

Bubbling Over

Speaking of sports media evolutions, Amazon, Google and Facebook are beginning to have the free cash flow to outbid traditional media for the next generation of 11-digit sports deals, writes Jack Hough at Barron’s. With TV audiences declining, is it worth it for TV networks to bid big on sports when the current contracts expire, especially with upstart digital platforms throwing down and possibly driving up prices? But sports is still big business for TV networks, as ad rates have increased despite audience woes. And those without sports, like Scripps, Discovery and Viacom, have struggled lately. More.

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