When Snapchat first offered ads on its platform in January 2015, it was asking brands to pay a minimum of $750,000 for a one-day ad, said several sources who purchase advertising from the company.
Today, however, is a different story.
Prices have dropped far below that, to levels starting at $50,000 — and one media buyer said there is wiggle room to go below that threshold. Another source said that Snapchat gave them an ad for free, just because the team liked their idea.
To be sure, Snapchat has more product offerings for advertisers now than when it launched ads — including traditional video ads that play in between content, sponsorship of their community-led "Live Stories" and branded filters, which are effects that you can put on your photos and videos. Multiple sources also said that the company has hinted it will be adding brand-owned Snapchat Discover stories in the future.
That said, the price reductions are real. For example, the first ad product the company offered was a 30-second video ad called a "Brand Story," which cost a minimum of $750,000. Today, advertisers say getting inside a "Live Story" runs about $250,000. They added that a "takeover" of a Snapchat Discover publisher channel can be had for $50,000.
Snapchat denied claims ad prices were cut, but chalked the price changes to the addition of different kinds of ad units to allow for smaller and larger ad campaigns.
Some argued that Snapchat's drastic reduction in price was mostly because initial rates were far above the industry norms, saying the company was hoping to attract executives at brands who wanted to be first to advertise on any buzzed-about technology platform for bragging rights. Most social media platforms debut ads at a high rate for that reason, the sources said. In any case, it has made some of the advertising agency community hesitant to pay for advertising on Snapchat, unless their clients insisted upon it.