Snap says its original show was watched more than the 'Game of Thrones' finale, but there's a catch

Key Points
  • Snap's Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman said Snapchat's original show "Endless Summer" had more viewers than the Game of Thrones finale.
  • She said "Endless Summer" was watched by 28 million people on Snapchat.
  • The executive also spoke about Snapchat's ability to help publishers reach individuals who aren't watching linear television.
Jeremi Gorman, Snap's Chief Business Officer
Source: Snap

Snap's Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman said this week that one of the Snapchat's original shows was so widely viewed it topped the viewership of the "Game of Thrones" finale.

Gorman, speaking at a session at Advertising Week with "The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah in New York Wednesday, said Snapchat's original series "Endless Summer" was watched by 28 million people, more than the number of people who watched the finale of HBO's "Game of Thrones." A record 19.3 million people tuned in to watch the "Game of Thrones" finale the night it aired. Gorman said the total number of those tuning into the "Game of Thrones" finale was 25 million, but it wasn't clear where she was citing the number from.

A Snap spokesperson said the company counts a view when a video is opened by a user, regardless of how long the video was watched for. So Gorman's comparison could be a indirect since she appeared to be comparing how many people viewed the entire season of "Endless Summer" versus a single episode of "Game of Thrones."

The first season of "Endless Summer" had 12 episodes, with each episode spanning several minutes.

During Advertising Week, an industry conference bringing together brands, agencies and tech companies, Snap presented three executive sessions touching on video content and advertising on Snapchat. The company also announced a new slate of shows along with new research on Gen Z purchasing power and viewing habits. Snap and other tech companies like Facebook have been experimenting with original programming as a way to lure TV advertisers over to online platforms. So Snap implying that one of its shows has viewership on par with one of the year's most popular television shows carriers some extra weight.

In April, alongside Snap's Partner Summit, the company said that the show had reached "over 28 million unique viewers during its first season." When the show was announced last year, "Endless Summer" was described by Snap as "a docuseries following rising stars in Laguna Beach — from Bunim/Murray, the creators of 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians.'"

While discussing Snapchat's reach, Gorman also said 203 million daily active users are reaching more than 10 billion video views every day.

"I'm not going to compare it to anything specific other than to say this is more than the number of people who watched the Emmys on Sunday, I think," she said. The Emmy Awards viewership was about 6.9 million people, down down from last year's ceremony, NBC reported.

Despite the numeric comparison, Gorman tried to make it clear that mobile video is a different animal than linear television.

"The linear television that we're used to is a story that's told from beginning to end, where it builds to a crescendo and stops and wants you to watch again the next week," she said. "Mobile video is different. You have to make sure you're telling the story upfront. You have to catch the attention in second one, or someone can skip your content."

Gorman added that the company is bringing incremental reach for publishers who are trying to reach audiences that might not be watching linear television. She cited the company's oft-cited figure that it is able to reach 90 percent of 13-to-24 year-olds in the U.S.

"Those are not the people that are watching linear TV, necessarily," she said. "When we have partners like Sportscenter … we are able to measure that we have 13 percent of the people they are unable to reach on any other platform."

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