Over the past couple of years, Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix have put themselves on the map as the places to go to watch high-quality original programming. Now, Snap Inc. is coming onto the scene as a viable competitor for your time, laughs, and binge-watching.
In February, SNL premiered an original Snapchat show, Boycott, that aired on the app's Discover platform and remained available for 48 hours. The show, about a couple trying to boycott all things Trump-related, was created by SNL and specifically tailored to Snapchat's vertical viewing format.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Snap is expanding on the success of Boycott, signing original show deals with everyone from the BBC and ABC to Turner, A+E Networks, and Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer. More deals are expected to be announced in coming months. Not too shabby for an app that only launched its content platform, Discover, a little over two years ago.
Networks are inking high-profile deals with Snap in an attempt to get viewers they might not have online or on TV. Yes, everyone wants you watching their programming, and they'll pay big bucks to make that happen.
Yesterday, Scripps Networks Interactive announced a new deal that will bring original HGTV and Food Network shows to Snapchat. "Snapchat’s distinctive mobile platform provides an ideal environment for us to touch millennials and centennials who may not yet be hooked on our premium offerings,” said Henry Ahn, Scripps Networks’ president of content distribution and marketing, in a press release about the deal.“We’re finding more and more new fans among the hard-to-reach mobile natives.”
But Snapchat is being picky about what shows up in Discover. Expect to see content that is focused on originality, rather than material that looks promotional.
Eventually, two to three new episodes of scripted and reality shows will premiere every day in Stories, with run times between three and five minutes. Although the frequency is greater, the short run time means that networks can save a massive amount of money. According to The Wall Street Journal, episodes can cost as little as $6,000 to produce.
Binge-watching a show on Snapchat is appealing because it's much more doable; you could plow through all three new episodes during your lunch break. But Snapchat will have some stiff competition. Aside from the big players including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, YouTube is getting in on the originals game. At the company's Broadcast showcase event last night, a massive 40 new shows were unveiled with top talent including Kevin Hart, Ellen DeGeneres, Demi Lovato, and Katy Perry. Twitter also recently revealed a host of new live shows, building on its red carpet and sports live-streams that have been available this past year.
Deciding what to watch in the first place, and then figuring out how the hell you're going to find enough time to watch everything you want to, is going to be a monumental task. Take comfort in this: When the weather gets bad again next winter, you'll have no shortage of interesting content to fill up your time.