The broadcaster is debuting a twice-daily news show on Snapchat’s Discover platform today at 7 a.m. The show, called “Stay Tuned,” will feature current events and entertainment news and it will run every day at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and at 1 p.m. on weekends.
For NBC News, the incentive is exposure to a younger audience, which most likely doesn’t tune into its television programs. (Last month the network launched a social media-focused documentary unit developed by Ascheim to help accomplish a similar goal).
“The engagement on Snapchat in this instance is outstanding,” Ascheim said, citing growth from current Snapchat Shows such as “Good Luck America,” which experienced a 53 percent bump in viewers between its first and second seasons, and “E! The Rundown,” which gets about 7 million views per episode on average.
In order to produce a watchable, TV-quality show, NBC News hired a New York-based team of roughly 30 new employees, led by director of social media strategy Andrew Springer, who joined six months ago following stints at Mashable and ABC News.
Each episode of “Stay Tuned,” which will be hosted by Gadi Schwartz and Savannah Sellers, will be just two-and-a-half to three minutes long. The tone is conversational; the importance of news is explained to the viewers. The show, which is a revenue share model between Snap and NBC News, will launch with STX Entertainment, which will promote its upcoming film ”Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” Like with TV, advertisers will be peppered throughout each episode. NBC declined to provide insight into both its investment in the show’s development and the revenue share model.
Ascheim said he doesn’t have any goals per se for viewership — at least ones he would share — but rather said the relationship with Snapchat would be “indefinite” and noted his network was giving the team time to grow.
“It takes a fair amount of commitment…and patience…there is a significant barrier of entry,” he said. “NBC is willing to make big bets.”
In fact, the show is part of a larger push on the part of Snap to enlist broadcasting partners. They include NBC, ESPN, the NFL, ABC, BBC, A+E Networks, Discovery Networks, Turner, Scripps Networks, Vice Media, Vertical Networks, MGM Television and CBS.
As of June, the following shows have aired: “The Voice” on Snapchat (NBC), “E! The Rundown” (NBC), “Good Luck America” (the only in-house show produced by Snap), “Phone Swap” (Vertical Networks), “Second Chance” (A+E), “World of Dance” (NBC), “Watch Party: The Bachelor” (ABC), “Planet Earth II” (BBC), “Fallon” (NBC), “SNL” (NBC), “ESPN Game Day” (ESPN), “One Shot” (NFL), “The NFL Show” (NFL), “Cribs” (MTV).
Last month Time Warner signed a deal with Snap, which according to reports is valued at around $100 million. As part of the agreement, Time Warner will produce ten original shows for Snapchat a year.
“Our strategy is very much this is the first screen of a new generation so we want to produce content that keeps them highly engaged,” said Snapchat’s head of original content Sean Mills.
Mills said his company has more than 30 shows in active development to launch between now and next year. The move comes at a time when many magazines, newspapers and brands are shifting resources to Instagram, which has developed many of the same functions as Snapchat, such as disappearing stories, filters and the ability to draw on and customize photos using emojis.
“This is part of a large partnership with NBC,” Mills noted. “We think we are doing something very differentiated. It’s a major priority here. We are giving it premium real estate and we are scaling up the quality. It’s a big part of our strategy for premium content.”