Apple’s not the only tech company hopping on the original content bandwagon in 2018. Snapchat company Snap is launching new shows in partnership with Hollywood production companies. And they’re coming as soon as today.
Called “Snap Originals,” they won’t be full-length shows like Apple is busy commissioning, though. In keeping with the short-term hook that made Snapchat popular, the company is cranking out five-minute episodes shot vertically for viewing on mobile devices.
The serialized Snap Originals will debut daily. Topping the list is a documentary series called Endless Summer about YouTube “influencers” from Laguna Beach. The show is produced by Bunim/Murray, the company that made Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
Several scripted series also are on tap at Snap: Class of Lies (a drama about collegiate true-crime podcasters), Co-Ed (a comedy about college freshmen from the Duplass Brothers), The Dead Girls Detective Agency (a supernatural comedy) and V/H/S (an extension of the indie horror anthology franchise).
The lineup also includes several other docuseries: Vivian (about a model scout), Good Luck America (about crazy U.S. politics) and Growing Up Is a Drag (about teenage drag stars), Stunt Brothers (about wannabe stuntmen) and Bringing Up Bhabie (about the notorious “cash me outside” meme girl).
Less is known about scripted series Bref, Deep Creek and #Vanlife, which are also in the pipeline.
Snap Originals debut today
The company is working to come up with news ways for viewers to engage with its new shows.
“Snap Originals will also feature new Show Portals, letting you swipe up and step inside a scene from a Show to experience it for yourself,” the company said in a press release. “Snap Originals will also have Lenses, Filters, and other fun ways for you to share the show experience with your friends.”
Some of the new series will debut today, while others will launch later.
In all, the long list of short shows clearly demonstrates Snap’s desire to establish itself in this space as quickly as possible. There’s a reason why the company might be rushing, however. Snap’s stock priced declined by more than half this year as the company struggles against rivals like Facebook and Instagram.
As a result, while Apple can take its sweet time — and burn through a billion dollars — developing original content, Snap is racing to find new ways of becoming profitable.
Will it work? Well, features like Snapchat Stories certainly became popular. Rolling out new episodes of a show each day could keep users coming back. All of the Snap Originals sound teen-focused, but Snap wants to win over that competitive market. A lot will surely depend on the quality of the shows.
However, Snap shares dropped to an all-time low after today’s unveiling of the entertainment slate.