Snap and Time Warner ink $100m deal to produce more TV-like shows

Snapchat signed a big deal with Time Warner to produce more TV-like shows.

Media and entertainment conglomerate Time Warner Inc. and camera company Snap Inc. announced a global partnership that includes the development of made-for-Snap shows and a substantial investment in advertising for the next two years.

Under the terms of the agreement, Time Warner will make a significant commitment – which is widely reportedly to be $100m, but a Snap rep would not comment on financial matters – to develop and produce shows for Snapchat from its networks and entertainment companies, which include HBO, Warner Bros., CW and TNT. These shows will encompass a range of genres, including scripted drama and comedy.

A Snap rep said these shows are shot and produced exclusively for Snapchat’s vertical format, run three to five minutes and are full-screen and immersive. They are also hyper-visual, featuring motion graphics, split screens and quick cuts, which the rep said is inspired by the way Snapchatters use the platform to communicate.

The Time Warner partnership will help increase in the number of shows on Snapchat. Currently, about one show airs each day, but by the end of the year, Snap expects to have three shows per day and will introduce a range of formats, including animation, documentaries, scripted drama, comedies and daily news shows.

Since September, Snap has worked with networks and studios to bring these mobile TV-like shows to Snapchatters, including Time Warner’s Turner networks, NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN, the NFL, BBC, Discovery Networks, Scripps Networks, MGM Television, A+E Networks, Vertical Networks and Vice.

In addition, Time Warner will invest in advertising from HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. on Snapchat.

The Snap rep said showcasing Time Warner’s brands and personalities on Snapchat will increase exposure to its “desirable, highly engaged and growing audience”.

Research does indeed show Snap is able to reach a demographic coveted by advertisers. That includes analytics firm App Annie, which found there’s a distinct audience with a preference for Snapchat. On any given day in the US in Q4 2016, App Annie said 35% of Snapchat’s daily users could not be reached by Facebook, 46% could not be reached by Instagram and 58% could not be reached by Messenger.

The Snap rep also cited new research from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research that found 31% of Snapchat users in the UK watch TV for one hour or less on any given day and are harder to research via traditional media than their peers.

“As a company that has driven the evolution of media, this is an exciting and natural move as we bring together some of our leading video properties and brands with Snapchat’s dynamic platform,” said Gary Ginsberg, executive vice president of corporate marketing and communications at Time Warner, in a statement. “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. 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. ”

"Time Warner and their brands have long been pioneers of what incredible, premium content looks like and we're thrilled that innovators across their expansive network will begin producing shows for Snapchat,” added Nick Bell, vice president of content for Snap. “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."

Per Snap stats, 166 million people use Snapchat daily, over 3bn Snaps are created each day and over 10bn videos are watched on Snapchat every day. Daily active users visit the app more than 18 times each day and spend an average of over 30 minutes each day.