Snapchat's Rio 2016 coverage attracted almost 50 million viewers in the first week alone

Close to 50 million people have watched Rio 2016 clips on Snapchat / The Drum

It looks like Snapchat is aiming for gold when it comes to Rio 2016 social coverage, revealing that within the first seven days of the Olympics, 49 million viewers turned to the app to watch coverage from the event.

Data from the messaging startup published in the Financial times has revealed that close to one in three of Snapchat's 150 million daily users viewed Olympic clips within the Live Stories section of the app throughout week one of the Games.

Snapchat's Live Stories offering has been showcasing compilations of video snippets of sporting action and crowd reaction (which disappear after 24 hours) since the torch was lit on 5 August.

A slew of partnerships with global TV networks, and special deal between official US broadcaster NBC and media giant BuzzFeed to produce Olympic content for Snapchat's Discover section (which used by publishers) are to thank for the mammoth viewing figures.

According to the FT, NBC Olympics and Snapchat are sharing ad revenue from the Snap Ads placed within the Rio 2016 Olympics page – with spots running from brand partners like Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods.

Snapchat boasts 10bn daily video views, and given that it has already outpaced rival Twitter's daily active user (DAU) count, the Olympic viewing figures ought to make the latter pause for thought.

Twitter has inked a throng of real-time sports deals over the past few months, acquiring the rights to the likes of NFL's Thursday night games. It has also been looking to position itself as the go-to place for live events and news through a new ad campaign and greater Periscope integration – but Snapchat might have just offered up a new challenge to that crown thanks to its digestible video format.

Facebook has also been attempting to compete in this arena through Facebook Live, and while Snapchat's coverage isn't real time the almost instant short nature of its content has been a hit among millennials.

Nielsen estimates that 41 per cent of all 18 to 34-year-olds in the the States use the app each day.

Facebook and Twitter have yet to reveal official video viewing figures for Rio 2016, but eMarketer has forecast that 2.85bn video streams of Olympics action will be viewed online over the duration of the Games.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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