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Your favorite TV networks could be coming to Snapchat soon

Image: hbo

Snapchat has many more shows, created by some of the top TV channels, coming over the next two years.

Time Warner — which owns HBO, Turner’s cable channels, and Warner Bros. — signed a two-year deal, worth $100 million, with the disappearing messaging app, the companies announced Monday. The media conglomerate will create around 10 original shows for Snapchat, including scripted dramas and comedy, and also has committed to advertising.

The partnership is a big vote of confidence for Snapchat, which is facing an onslaught from Facebook copying its core Stories feature across its app network: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Snapchat’s user growth and downloads have been down over the last year, placing fear in investors and analysts who have watched the stock fall to and hover around its original price on the New York Stock Exchange.

Snap Inc.’s new partnership with Time Warner proves that the app is much more than just user-generated content. Time Warner could bring some of its most popular brands, like HBO and DC Comics, to Snapchat. That could attract more audiences as well as more ad revenue. Snap faces tough competition for ad dollars — majority of its revenue — as the industry is locked in a duopoly of Facebook and Google.

Snap has been locking down partnerships with some of the biggest TV networks and studios over the last year. The company has partnerships with NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN, BBC, Discovery Networks, Scripps Networks, MGM Television, A+E Networks, Vertical Networks, VICE, and the NFL.

It’s not easy for these networks to build Snapchat Shows, which are produced exclusively for the app’s vertical format, but several networks expressed the importance of the young audience.

"Snap TV’s new original, pre-recorded short-form video content is the new shiny object, so all publishers/networks are jumping on the bandwagon, in the hope that this will be complementary to TV and lure viewers back to traditional TV," Boon Yap, VP of partnership and product at Standard Media Index, an advertising research company, told Mashable during TV’s Upfronts week last month.

Indeed, Snapchat released a Nielsen-commissioned study in April that showed media companies that partnered on Snapchat’s Discover platform saw a 16 percent increase in TV "reach" (if they have a TV channel).

Time Warner expressed similar interest in the audience. “Partnering with Snap will help drive this compelling new format, exposing its user base to innovative and engaging video from brands and characters they trust and enjoy," Gary Ginsberg, Time Warner’s executive vice president of corporate marketing and communications, said in a statement.

"We’re confident this partnership will help drive larger audiences to our shows and to the new direct to consumer platforms we continue to rollout," the statement continued.

Snap will split the revenue from the shows 50/50. That’s less attractive than the 70/30 split between publishing partners and Snapchat, the Wall Street Journal reported, making the deal for the shows great for Snap.

For Snap, Time Warner’s $100 million commitment is a big. But Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter — along with Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu — are also making a push for original video. And there’s only so much time in one’s day.

"We’re in an absolute war for time," Rich Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG, told the Financial Times last week.