Digital POV: Snapchat & mDAR Measurement


Last week, Snapchat announced that advertising partners will now be able to buy in-app ad space by audiences - including age group and gender - using a partnership with Nielsen’s Mobile Digital Ad Ratings (mDAR). The move is intended to better position the channel against both digital and traditional TV competitors.

Details and Implications:

Nielsen has been conducting measurement of ads appearing on Snapchat for the past year, however this new offering now adds a buying option via an API. The Snapchat in-app audience can now be targeted on mobile in ways comparable to TV (i.e., gross ratings points; a next-day view etc).

Snapchat is quickly evolving from its picture messaging and private messaging beginnings to become a public content provider with sophisticated delivery. It now boasts content alliances with live events, brand networks and publications (MTV, CNN, Daily Mail, iHeartRadio and ESPN). In 2016 it introduced an algorithm that ranks and pushes content based upon engagement which is also tailored to its users’ interests. In addition, more recently, Snapchat enhanced its ad targeting capabilities by expanding its partnership with Oracle Data Cloud.

While perhaps still not top-of-mind as a content provider. These partnerships and more tailored, consumer-centric changes indicate that Snap Inc. is looking to sway consumers to the smaller screen for a much larger share of audience in the entertainment space. This of course also supports its intention to go public this year with an initial public offering (IPO).


It would seem that ahead of that IPO Snap Inc. is listening to both consumers and the industry. While its advertising and video performance remains to be analyzed and compared against other digital and TV players, the in-app buying option with mDAR measurement is a firm step forward towards becoming a more valued second screen player. However, Snapchat is still competing with the likes of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for those coveted TV dollars.