The friendship between social media and television continues with a new deal between Discovery Communications and Snap Inc. to produce a number of shows for Snapchat. The deal will include an exclusive program created specially for Snapchat’s platform, as well as other shows based on Discovery’s flagship properties such as Shark Week and MythBusters.
Snap, Inc. began soliciting original programming from the entertainment industry last year and has already struck deals with NBC, A+E Networks, BBC Worldwide, The New York Times and Time, Inc. Discovery’s shows for Snapchat will be available in the US only, and will launch sometime in the next few months.
Saturday Night Live debuted its first, Snapchat-exclusive sketch last week. “Boycott” was edited for the app’s vertical video orientation and employed split screens as well as audio and video cues that let users tap or swipe to advance to the next “chapter.” The platform has been a source for other shows produced recently, including offshoots for ABC’s The Bachelor, NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Voice, as well as E!’s The Rundown and ESPN’s College GameDay.
Why Snapchat? Well, it comes down to that young, engaged audience that media companies so desperately want to reach. It’s no secret that Snapchat is “what the kids are doing,” and the kiddies sure love their Snapchat Stories. In fact, a new report by Snaplytics revealed that 55 percent of brand followers will open brand-posted Stories and 88 percent will complete the full Story after opening.
With the rising popularity and accessibility to live video, Facebook has proven itself to be a major source of social entertainment, too. While social networks haven’t replaced traditional TV, they seem to go hand in hand. Eighty-four percent of Gen Z consumers browse an internet-connected device while watching TV, according to Deep Focus.
Facebook is also in talks to host original programming of its own. “Our goal is to kickstart an ecosystem of partner content for the tab, so we’re exploring funding some seed video content, including original and licensed scripted, unscripted, and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook,” Ricky Van Veen, Facebook’s head of global strategy, told Recode. “Our goal is to show people what is possible on the platform and learn as we continue to work with video partners around the world.”
It appears that Snapchat and Facebook are following in the successful footsteps of Netflix and Amazon for creating its own series, although there’s no word as to when Facebook’s content will emerge into the ether.
For now, the social network has introduced a TV app that will be compatible with Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TVs, with more devices to follow. The new app will let Facebook users watch videos from their friends and their “liked” pages on TV, as well as watching the top live videos.
There’s no doubt that once original content does finally make its way onto Facebook, those videos will be featured on the TV app, as well.