Disney to create original shows for Snapchat

Dive Brief:

  • Disney-ABC is partnering with Snapchat to give the social media app’s users original content, according to Variety. The first program will be an after-show watch party for The Bachelor. 
  • The original content will be distributed to U.S. Snapchat users and eventually include several episodic series, although Disney-ABC didn’t provide further details to Variety.
  • “We’ve been exploring ways to tell stories on mobile, and Snapchat was a very exciting canvas for us to work on,” John Frelinghuysen, executive VP of digital media strategy and business development for Disney-ABC TV, told the publication.

Dive Insight:

As a trend toward cord-cutting accelerates and linear TV ratings slip, major media companies are mulling over best ways to reach viewers on other devices, and especially on mobile, with Snapchat being particularly appealing thanks to its young-skewing core audience. Snapchat may seem an odd fit for longer-form content — its bread and butter is ephemeral video messages that disappear after 24 hours — so it will be interesting to see how episodic, regular programming gels with Snapchatters. 

Leading with The Bachelor is a strong pick, though, as the show has an unusually dedicated fan base — so much so that that it now has its own standalone fantasy league designed in conjunction with ESPN, which is also a Disney property (and is also bleeding subscribers on set-top boxes).

The idea of a hosting an after-show show points to an area where Snapchat might have more second-screen potential. While the program isn't necessarily happening in tandem with The Bachelor broadcast, it serves as an extension of the conversation on social, an area previous dominated by Twitter. 

Disney joins NBCUniversal, which announced back in August that it was producing “mini-TV shows” for Snap, including spin-offs of “The Voice” and “Saturday Night Live.” A couple of weeks ago, Turner similarly said it was expanding an existing partnership with Snapchat to include original series developed just for the app. Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, is currently hiring for an “Original Shows” team to help manage the growing influx of TV-like content headed for the app.

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Filed Under: Social Media Video Mobile
Top image credit: Flickr: AdamPrzezdziek