Analyst Rich Greenfield: Snap Needs More Than Users to Survive

August 8, 2018

By Conor White

Snap's mixed bag on earnings points to a murky future for the Snapchat app, which may hold more promise as a messaging platform than the ad-supported content powerhouse many people expected it to be, said BTIG's media and tech analyst, Rich Greenfield.

"I think the challenge is more and more time spent feels like it's shifting to communications and away from content," Greenfield said Wednesday in an interview with Cheddar. "So their core use case is very sticky for the entire generation that uses it as their iMessage, essentially."

Optimistic investors may be heartened by Snap's revenue beat in the second quarter, but Greenfield said numbers from the company's earnings report on Tuesday are nothing to celebrate.

"I've never cut my target for a company in terms of revenues by 50 percent over a 14-month period," Greenfield said. "We thought when this company went public they would do $2.5 billion in revenue this year, they're struggling to get to the $1.1, $1.2 [billion] revenue this year. "

The analyst said it isn't enough to have millions of people using Snapchat as a messaging platform, since "filters don't make billions of dollars," he said.

Content is still key to Snap's future as a business, Greenfield said.

"They've got to convince people, to make this a multi-billion dollar business, they need people to spend a lot of time on the right side of the app, consuming content."

For more on this story, click here.