Nick Bell, the head of content at Snapchat, has announced that the disappearing message service will offer scripted content via Snapchat shows before the year ends. Bell was speaking in Scotland where he was attending the Edinburgh International Television Festival. According to Bell Snapchat was not killing traditional broadcasters and could in fact be instrumental in bolstering them.
“Mobile is the most complementary thing to TV that has been around. We’re really capturing the audience who are not probably consuming TV at the same rate and pace of engagement that they once were,” said Bell.
As evidence of how Snapchat could help bolster traditional broadcasters Bell mentioned that an offshoot of NBC’s The Voice on Snapchat Show led to an increase in the number of viewers for NBC. This was also replicated in the case of The Bachelor which airs on ABC. Bell further said that he was aiming to turn the mobile phone into a remote control for television consumption.
And with Snapchat now looking into launching its own original scripted shows Bell disclosed that the reason the disappearing message firm had not done that earlier was because of the cost. In Snapchat’s case, however, the original content would be short form as according to the company long-form content was not suited for mobile. According to Bell the optimum length of videos on Snapchat would remain between three and five minutes.
When questioned on the kind of shows Snapchat was interested in, Bell said that long-running programs which had well-developed beloved characters would be ideal. This included Friends, a sitcom; Coronation Street, a British soap or The Simpsons, an animated show.
Besides ABC and NBC, other established entertainment players that Snapchat has inked deals with include Vice Media, the British Broadcasting Corporation, CBS and MTV. Two months ago Snapchat entered into a deal worth $100 million with Time Warner where the media giant will produce about 10 Snapchat shows.
Currently Snapchat is not commissioning the shows but is depending on partners who fund the production of the video content. So far a couple of the shows that are currently running have proved profitable. Other social media platforms that are said to be planning on launching original scripted content include Facebook.
Though Snapchat recently added the number of daily active users to 173 million, of which 4 million were added in the United States and Canada, the social media firm’s most recent quarterly earnings were disappointing.