- Variety reports that Snap has a deal in place with A+E Networks’ in-house digital agency 45th & Dean and has begun to air new offerings from NBCUniversal.
- A+E will create short-form content to appear on the Discover portal, including unscripted series. An agreement with NBCUniversal from last year has also resulted in the first original scripted short from "Saturday Night Live," titled “Boycott," which debuted Friday.
- The NBCU deal was announced last August and has lead to digital extensions of existing NBC properties like “The Voice” and now "SNL." Snapchat previously said it was looking for more TV-like content for Discover, which has largely been publisher terrain.
The latest news points to a growing trend of social platforms building out their TV-like offerings in a bid to attract more advertising dollars. This strategy is especially essential for Snapchat, which is likely eager to live up to the massive hype surrounding its IPO. Snap looks to be smartly positioning its original content as extensions of popular TV series. Fans of "Saturday Night Live" searching for a fix outside the TV broadcast might tune into the new shorts exclusive to Snapchat.
Unscripted series with A+E also puts the platform in relatively uncharted territory. One of the standing questions for Snapchat and its entertainment partners is whether users accustomed to the app's short, ephemeral video content will stay tuned for longer material. In the past, Snapchat's re-jiggering of its Discover platform has impacted publisher views, and any further changes might hurt the chances of original shows and shorts.
Snapchat also faces growing competition from Facebook, which is not only pushing into similar, TV-like territory but is also developing its own set-top box app. While Snap Inc. will be more flush with cash and resources to build out its content post-IPO, its power and influence will be unlikely to match Facebook's, at least for the immediate future.
Still, Snap continues to attract a variety of big-name partners: The Recording Academy recently tapped Snapchat to build hype for Sunday's Grammy Awards and BBC is making similar moves to NBC in teasing "Planet Earth II" content on the platform.