Snapchat To Ramp Up Original Content, Taps Marcus Wiley As Programming Chief

Are self-destructing series the next frontier in original online content? Fast-growing social network Snapchat is taking another step in establishing itself as an original content player with the hire of former Fox SVP comedy Marcus Wiley as Head of Program Planning and Development.

Wiley’s efforts are expected to be focused on amping up original content offered by Snap Channel, primarily short-form narrative scripted/musical series — some of them experimental. The content will be geared toward Snapchat’s young audience. The video messaging application, only available on smart phones, is especially popular with the 13-34 crowd who watch some 2 billion Snapchat videos a day, according to the company.

Originally launched in 2011, Snapchat, which boasts 100 million active monthly users, allows the sending of “snaps” — photos and videos with added text and drawings — which get automatically deleted shortly after recipients view them.

Snapchat ventured into ad-supported content with the January rollout of its revenue-generating Discover platform, which features articles and videos from a number of media brands, including ESPN, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, Food Network, CNN, National Geographic, Vice, Yahoo as well as a dedicated Snap Channel, which will be beefed up by Marcus and his team. The content, which includes ads, is refreshed daily. Snapchat also has been tapping into user-generated content, culling from “snaps” to create daily stories from an event or a city that too self-distruct after 24 hours.  The service’s “Our Story” from Coachella last month drew more than 40 million unique views.

Wiley most recently worked as a producer. As SVP and co-head of comedy development at Fox, he shepherded the development of such half-hour series as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, The Mindy Project and Bob’s Burgers and was very involved in bringing Last Man On Earth to the network. Marcus’ resume also includes stints as literary and packaging agent at the William Morris Agency and as a development executive at Regency Television where he worked on such series as Malcolm In The Middle and The Bernie Mac Show.

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