Snap, Time Warner Team To Develop Snapchat Shows

Snap and Time Warner announced a two-year content-development partnership on Monday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources tell The Wall Street Journal that it’s worth roughly $100 million. With Snap, Time Warner plans to develop and produce Snapchat-friendly shows spanning a range of genres, including scripted drama and comedy.

Snap is expected to keep 50% of all ad revenue that comes from the deal, sources tell WSJ.

Given young consumers’ obsession with Snapchat, creating content for the platform is a “natural” next step for any media company, according to Gary Ginsberg, EVP of corporate marketing and communications at Time Warner.

“Partnering with Snap will help drive this compelling new format,” Ginsberg stated on Monday. “We’re confident this partnership will help drive larger audiences to our shows.”

For Snap, programming-rich partners like Time Warner spell an opportunity to expand its content offerings, Nick Bell, vice president of content for Snap, said Monday.

“This partnership is another exciting step as we continue to branch out into new genres, including scripted dramas, comedies, daily news shows, documentaries, and beyond,” Bell stated.

Analysts weren’t exactly blown away by the deal, on Monday.

“This Time Warner announcement isn't groundbreaking news,” said Jessica Liu, senior analyst at Forrester. “Snapchat … and Twitter, lest we forget about them … have been trying to become TV networks and selling ad space like TV networks … since early 2016.”

Added Liu: “I think the bigger story is actually about the fragmentation of traditional programming across all digital delivery mechanisms and how TV networks are trying to piece those fragments together to achieve scale.”

Since September, Snap and a number of Time Warner properties have been developing what they describe as “premium mobile TV-like shows.”

Shows are being shot and produced exclusively for Snapchat’s vertical format, and typically run from 3-to-5 minutes in length

Inspired by the way Snapchat’s community create content for the network, the shows are “hyper-visual,” and feature motion graphics, split screens and quick cuts.

Just months after its IPO, Snap’s honeymoon with investors and analysts appears to have already ended.

In May, the company released a not-so-stellar debut earnings report, which was then followed by research suggesting that Snapchat’s growth is already sagging.

Standing tall, however, Snap continues to tout its distinct attributes. Suggesting a highly engaged community, for instance, more than 60% of Snapchat’s daily users create content every day, according to internal data.

Portraying quite an intimate experience, meanwhile, Snap says that nearly 60% of Snapchat interactions occur between “close friends.”

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