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Snapchat reportedly inks big media deals for new TV shows

Snap has its sights on the horizon for mobile television, and networks want in on this.

Most college students turn to Snapchat before Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, a new study finds.
Carl Court/Getty Images

Your next favorite TV show might not actually be on your TV.

Snap, the parent of the popular Snapchat app has confirmed lined up deals with a host of broadcasters and TV producers to bring new television series to its app, which allows users to share photos and short video snippets with each other. NBCUniversal, A+E Networks, Discovery, BBC, ABC, ESPN are among the companies that have already signed up, said a representative for Snap.

The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Making TV for Snapchat, however, isn't like making it for your Samsung TV, according to the paper. Snap reportedly rejected some early programs because they looked like promotional material already available online.

The current app interface in the 'Discover' platform gives users a one of a kind media experience exclusive to Snapchat.

As a result, content from media partners on Snapchat helps drive growth for those respective companies across desktop (average monthly increase of 20 percent), mobile (average monthly increase of 23 percent) and TV (average monthly increase of 16 percent) platforms, according to a Nielsen study commissioned by Snap.

Nick Bell, the social network's vice president of content, told the Journal the producers were "very much in a TV mind-set."

If you harbor dreams of being a Snap TV producer, here are five things you need to know:

Keep it short

Snap users appear to have short attention spans, so keep your show between 3 minutes and 5 minutes.

That's what the producers did with ABC's "Watch Party: The Bachelor," The brief show is a funny breakdown of the hit dating show's latest episode recapped by three comedians, including one former contestant.


'Watch Party: The Bachelor' - Snapchat TV

The Bachelor/ABC

Let people participate

Snapchat users are super interactive. Let them be part of the show.

NBC's singing competition "The Voice" wanted to create a special edition of the show for the platform. It used Snapchat to solicit new contestants. So it teamed up with Snap executives to work out a format that let Snapchat users audition through videos of themselves singing their favorite songs.

The result: more than 20,000 aspiring pop idols tried out for the show.

The Voice/NBC

Make as many episodes as you can

The Journal reported that Snap wanted to have "two to three new episodes of original shows" each day by the end of the year. Shows appear in Snapchat's "Stories" section, where they sit next to messages, photos and videos from friends.

There's room for all genres

Snap won't crimp your creativity. They're looking for horror, scripted dramas, daily news digests, cartoons and documentaries. If you have an idea, don't be afraid to pitch it.

It doesn't take big money

Budgets for Snap television episodes are as little as $6,000, but you may spend up to $45,000 if you have brand name talent you need to pay, according to the Journal. That's a lot less than the $6 million E!News estimates "Game of Thrones" costs per episode.

Update, 1:06 p.m. PT: Adds confirmation and background from Snap.