Snapchat appears to be eyeing a foray into original programming in a move that could offer up a challenge to platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The messaging app’s recently created parent company, Snap Inc, has posted a job listing indicating that it was on the hunt for development managers for “original shows,” to oversee the development and production of scripted and unscripted programming.
First spotted by Business Insider, the job description on the ad says that the candidate will look after original programs from pitch to pilot, and help implement the upstart’s “original content strategy.” The posting also stipulates that would-be managers must have at least seven to 10 years’ TV or digital video development experience and involvement in the development of shows across categories like entertainment, lifestyle, music and sports.
Snap Inc has proudly declared itself a camera company, and earlier this month it launched Spectacles – a pair of $130 Google Glass-style sunglasses with an embedded video camera. However, judging from the job posting it looks like the firm is quietly taking steps to making content of its own.
Snapchat boasts 150 million users globally, and a source has told business insider that talent agents have started circulating its name as an active buyer of original shows. The source also said that Snap Inc sees itself become the “de facto news outlet” for its, largely millennial, audience.
The company has been building up its TV offering for some time, kicking off with a partnership with Comedy Central on a scripted content series last year. More recently, as part of its deal with Viacom the ephemeral app also launched three new video initiatives with MTV International in the form of a gameshow called Show Us Your Phone, a lifestyle show titled Sex Squad and a fashion series, MTV Threads. It has also teamed up with NBC on a multi-year content deal which will see the Comcast-owned network publish original content from popular titles like The Voice and snippets from SNL.
On top of its original shows, Snapchat has been working with major broadcasters around live sporting events like the Olympics, during which it attracted almost 50 million viewers in the first week alone.
While there’s no news on what this could mean for ads on the platform, reports from last week suggested that the company has ambitions to pay media partners on its Discover section for publishers a flat license fee upfront instead of sharing ad revenue as it continues to evolve from social company to media owner, adopting the same model as TV networks.