With 158 million users and a $25 billion valuation, the photo and video sharing app Snapchat has grown into one of the most powerful social networks around. Still, just because the app is popular doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to become a moneymaker. Twitter, for instance, has more than 300 million users and has struggled to be profitable for years. So in order to become a true tech giant, Snapchat is teaming up with old media firms to create original content that can generate ad revenue.
So far the company has brokered partnerships with networks like NBC, ABC, Discovery, ESPN, and many others. These outlets will produce short, television-like videos that show up in Snapchat’s “Stories” section. Along with attracting advertisers, executives also hope these videos will encourage people to spend more time on the app. Most users are active on Snapchat for an average of 25 to 30 minutes a day. To ensure they can keep people’s attention even longer, Snapchat is working closely with media companies as they develop content for the app.
For example, NBC initially created some videos based on existing television shows that the social network thought were too promotional and gimmicky. “They were very much in a TV mind-set,” said Snap vice president of content Nick Bell. “We wanted something as premium as television itself.” So representatives from the two companies worked together to create a Snapchat version of the singing competition The Voice. More than 20,000 users submitted 10-second auditions for a chance to perform on the live TV show. Snapchat plans to release other repurposed versions of both reality and scripted programs as it heads down the path to profitability.
- Will social media apps like Snapchat eventually become bigger than television?
- Why is Snapchat working closely with media companies to develop content?
Source: Shalini Ramachandran, “Media Companies Line Up to Make Shows for Snap TV,” The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2017. Photo by Adam Przezdziek.