Snapchat parent Snap Inc. has announced multi-year programming renewals with the NFL, NBA and several major media companies, set a new slate of originals and unveiled a new camera and augmented reality tools.
The raft of announcements came as Snap presented its second partner summit Thursday. Originally slated for April, it was pushed back due to the effects of COVID-19, and was dropped online in virtual, on-demand form, with CEO Evan Spiegel and other executives speaking in front of a green screen.
Snapchat’s popular Discover video platform, which was first introduced in 2015, has been embraced by several traditional players eager to reach the social platform’s coveted youth audience. On Thursday, Snap said Disney, ESPN, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, the NBA and the NFL have all expanded their Discover deals.
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The multi-year deals include new shows and originals, mobile shows created exclusively for Snapchat’s audience, along with continued production of existing original franchises. The stable of originals includes a custom version of ESPN SportsCenter, NBC News’ Stay Tuned, E! News’ The Rundown and MTV’s
Snap also introduced a dedicated news offering called Happening Now, aimed at facilitating breaking news given that 125 million people have watched news stories on its platform in 2020. Partners in Happening Now include The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Reuters, NBC News, ESPN, NowThis, E! News and BuzzFeed News. Publicly submitted “Snaps” will also be featured, along with personalized weather and horoscopes.
The new slate of Snap Originals set to premiere over the next year span scripted and unscripted categories. Producing partners include Kevin Hart, Catherine Hardwicke, Anthony Anderson and Bunim/Murray Productions. (See the full roster below.)
From its current roster of originals, Snap said it is renewing Dead of Night, Face Forward, Nikita Unfiltered and Vs The World, shows involving producing partners such as NBCU, ITV and Complex.
New camera and AR tools include Lens Studio, a free desktop application designed for developers and artists to build and distribute AR lenses on Snapchat. Its new features include SnapML, which lets any developer bring their own machine learning models to power lenses and create lenses with neural networks that they’ve trained.
Snap said Lens Studio now offers features like Face Landmarks and Face Expressions, which aim to improve facial tracking, new Hand Gesture templates, and an updated user interface.
Local Lenses, also unveiled today, “enable a persistent, shared AR world built right on top of your neighborhood,” the company said. “Soon, Snapchatters and their friends can step into this virtual space together to decorate nearby buildings with colorful paint and experience a new dimension of AR.
The new Scan tool, when it is pressed and held on the camera screen, unlocks Lenses that identify plants and trees, dog breeds, ingredients in packaged food. Advertisers could use the tool to integrate their brands into Snapchat users’ experience of daily life as captured through the app’s camera and tools.
Here is the full slate of Snap Originals, with loglines provided by Snap:
Coach Kev (Laugh Out Loud) – Inspired by his own experiences, Kevin Hart will be your coach, best friend and mentor all rolled into one, as he shares daily doses of positivity and wisdom for anyone aspiring to live their best life.
Fake Up (Mission Control Media) – The top optical illusion make-up artists battle it out to transform their own faces into works of art you have to see to believe. Experience the artists’ work like never before as you try on and play with custom Lenses that bring the show’s illusions to life.
Move It (Stellar Studios and Little Engine Productions) – Bringing together the biggest dance influencers, chart-topping hits, and Snapchat’s AR camera platform, this first-of-its-kind immersive dance show will inspire and teach anyone how to move it!
Road Trippin’ (Bunim/Murray Productions) – In this docuseries executive produced by Anthony Anderson, best friends and star creators Rickey Thompson and Denzel Dion head on a road trip across rural USA to get out of their comfort zone and share some crazy new adventures.
First Person (Hashtag Our Stories) – Stories told with Snapchat Spectacles through the eyes of extraordinary young innovators creating positive change, as they fight to protect our planet.
Queen of Stylez (Glass Entertainment Group) – Capturing the attention of Hollywood’s biggest names and locking in the most coveted and demanding clients, no hairstylist slays quite like Tokyo Stylez.
Life By The Horns (21st Street Creative) – Follow Ezekiel Mitchell, a 22-year-old destined to be a cowboy, on his life or death journey to become the best bull rider in the world and the first African-American to win the title in over 35 years.
Frogtown (Alcon Television Group) – In this series directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen), a badass skater living in her car lands a second family when she falls in with an all-girl crew at the Frogtown skatepark in East Los Angeles.
Action Royale (Portal A) – In this coming-of-age thriller, a teenager starts an underground esports gambling ring to pay off his father’s debts, but he and his gaming phenom best friend soon find themselves in over their heads in a dangerous high-stakes world.
Total Badass Wrestling – (Comedy Bang! Bang! Productions) – In this comedy, a naive but charismatic young wrestler becomes an overnight viral sensation, inspiring a washed-up pro wrestler to offer his mentorship and use the hot new kid as his ticket back into the spotlight.
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