Will Snap's New Original Series Help the Company Bounce Back After a Tough Year?
Snap today unveiled its latest batch of original series for the social platform, including its first ever foray into scripted programs.
One is a reality show called Endless Summer about teen influencers living in Laguna Beach, Calif., made by the creators of mid-aughts reality show juggernaut Laguna Beach. Another is a mystery series called Class of Lies about two friends who solve cold cases with their true crime podcast from a writer of The CW’s Riverdale. A third is a supernatural comedy called The Dead Girls Detective Agency based on a series of YA novels by Suzy Cox and a fourth is a college comedy from the Duplass Brothers called Co-ed.
The slate of six new shows, with an additional six on the way, seem tailored to Snapchat's gen Z fan base and in another context, wouldn’t necessarily be out of place on networks such as MTV, Freeform and The CW. But as tailored for the Snapchat audience, they are all filmed vertically and each episode is roughly five minutes long with six-second commercial breaks.
Users also have the ability to swipe up from an episode and use Lenses to explore scenes and interact with different objects and characters. The company will also continue its partnerships with NBCUniversal and Viacom through 2019, noting in the statement about the new crop of series that Viacom will be creating 10 new Snap Originals as well as syndicating more than 500 episodes of its network’s shows for Snapchat.
The plan to create more original content was alluded to in a lengthy leaked memo from Snap co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel in which he wrote about the lessons learned from the company’s not-so-well received redesign earlier this year. The move, which he admitted was “rushed,” led to the loss of 3 million users in the second quarter of 2018.
Spiegel’s plan according to the memo is to expand into international markets including Brazil, India and Mexico and become profitable in 2019, but it seems that the original series announcement didn’t do much for Snap’s stock price, which dropped to $6.73 a share as of press time, the lowest it’s ever been since its IPO price of $17.