Over the last two and half years, Snapchat has created 75 shows for their active users which now count around 186M. They’ve partnered with TV networks and media partners to reinvent existing IP, for example MTV to reinvent Cribs in short form vertical, and they built a newsroom with NBC to do daily news and Sports Center and ESPN.
Bunim/Murray Productions, whose Chairman and CEO Gil Goldschein was also sitting on the panel, mentioned their Snapchat 3-5 minute soap opera Endless Summer about a young couple in Orange County, CA being a success. “We’re a youthful brand, those are the stories we’ve told in long form for almost 30 years, the opportunity to tell them short was interesting for us,” said Goldschein.
“People spend 30 minutes a day on Snapchat, you open the App, the discover page is where our content lives, the name of the game for me is depth of engagement and getting people to find content , come back on a regular basis, watch the episodes, binge a season, fall in love. We did Dead Girls Detective Agency, a scripted series, and we’ve seen incredible engagement, watched by 14M in the first season, and 40% of first episode watchers completed the first season. These are early stats but it’s very promising in terms of what’ s in store. Gil’s shows feel very premium, the audience is there and they’re living on their phones, they want to be entertained, and so why not on Snapchat?”
In appealing to an under 25 crowd, many Snapchat shows feature Facetime or split screen, or overlay, which “reflects our audience’s life in the phone into our narratives, there are so many different things you can do that feel bespoke for mobile and talk to the audience in the phone where they live,” said Keating.
With such short-form content it’s crucial to “grab the audience right away” in the first 3 to 5 seconds.
“Have hooks throughout, don’t stay in a 2 person scene,” said Lauren Anderson, Chief Content Officer, Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts.
In regards to making money off short-form content, there is obviously commercials.
Goldschein added that there’s also other means: “From a production perspective, it’s the same way we make money on anything we do, we’re not controlling that, it’s a different model, as far as the model, you’re doing production, you’re either licensing something or producing it for a budget, it’s a different model in some ways where the terms are different that they are with the traditional buyers, but it’s not always about the money.”
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