Snapchat is reported to be lining up media companies to produce original programming for its hit smartphone app, as it attempts to retain its $25bn (£19.3bn, €22.8bn) stock market valuation. Parent company Snap Inc is said to have struck up deals with NBC Universal, Discovery, ESPN and Vice Media to create short shows aimed at teenagers and young adults, which will be aired on its new Snap TV platform.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the start-up has already secured deals for original shows from a number of production companies and news outlets, which will run for between three and five minutes and will appear within the ''Stories'' section of the Snapchat smartphone app. This will include off-shoots of popular television series House Hunters and Chopped, sources close to the matter said.
While the shows will only run for a few minutes, Snap is said to be sourcing production-quality content rather than just promotional material for programming already found on regular television. As such, Snap TV will offer reality TV, scripted dramas, daily news shows, horror, documentaries and animated series, and will operate as a catch-up service allowing users to "binge-watch" series like they can on Netflix and Amazon Video.
The obvious reason Snap is looking at original programming is to increase the amount of time its 158 million users stay within the app, as well as increase revenue streams from advertising. Both of these will bolster the company's stock market performance and prove to investors that its $25bn valuation is substantiated.
Snapchat will reportedly share ad revenue with its media partners rather than paying for the shows outright, with the company offering a 50-50 split for original shows. Snap is expected to announce some of its programming deals in the coming days and comes after Twitter partnered with Bloomberg to create a 24/7 video news channel, which will be launched this autumn.
Snap has yet to respond to a request for comment from IBTimes UK.