Snap partners with Discovery for 'Mythbusters,' 'Shark Week' spinoffs

Dive Brief:

  • Snap Inc., parent company of the app Snapchat, has partnered with Discovery Communications to produce spinoffs of the media brand's popular "Mythbusters" and "Shark Week" series for the platform, as reported by Ad Age. "Mythbusters'" cable TV iteration was canceled last year. 
  • Separate reporting by TechCrunch makes the point that Snapchat’s Discover portal is quickly becoming a destination for curated shows from major media brands including Discovery, who joins players like A+E, NBCUniversal, BBC and Disney on the platform. 
  • The various TV-like content partnerships Snap has brokered over the last six months all come in advance of the company's initial public offering of stock, expected for March, and likely serve to show investors an example of new revenue opportunities for Snapchat.

Dive Insight:

Back in August, Snapchat announced plans to add more TV-like offerings on its Discover portal, including content original to the social media app. The succession of partnerships it has forged in the time since shows the company not only making good on that promise but also finding a strong, eclectic stable of media partners to realize it.

The TechCrunch report likened Snap's entire process to creating an “HBO-like” experience on social, with ad-supported, premium shows at the center of that strategy compared to, say, YouTube, where viewers are presented with a range of largely user-generated videos of varying professionalism

The Discovery news and the arrival of a "Mythbusters" spinoff for Snapchat show how some media brands might tap the app as a home for series that can't necessarily survive on linear television, which has been battered by a trend toward cable cord-cutting of late.

TV advertisers also worried about slipping ratings might find Snap's new content-centric focus appealing but whether users accustomed to Snap's short, ephemeral video messaging will stick around for longer series is likely a big question for Snap's partners.    

The strategy has the potential for differentiating Snapchat from its social media competitors, which are all chasing TV content and the resulting ad dollars. For its part, Facebook has announced TV apps that take its video content to additional screens, but Snapchat is banking on attracting eyeballs based on the quality and the name recognition for staples like "Shark Week" or "Planet Earth II." 

Filed Under: Social Media Trends Mobile