Publishers face an interesting road ahead as Snapchat Discover enters the We Make Original Content, Too! Hunger Games. There’ve been vocal skeptics, but the platform is pushing forward.
Discover launched in January 2015, and has since been a home for daily magazine editions from partners like CNN, Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, and ESPN. Now the company wants shows curated specifically for Discover. And while it’s not clear whether they plan to create a dedicated area within Discover for them, the opportunity to monetize looms on the horizon. Let’s review.
The platform’s been adding more and more creative layers since its launch in 2011: quirky filters, geofilters, and Spectacles to name a few.
Then last summer, Snap (parent company of Snapchat) approached Hollywood studios asking for short-form shows for Discover. This resulted in a video series from E! titled “The Rundown” and an offset of BBC’s “Planet Earth II”. Snap’s now looking for more partners: MTV, Comedy Central, and ESPN created original pilots, and others are in the process of pitching ideas.
In a move that should surprise no one, Mark Cuban’s changed his mind about the platform. At this year’s SXSW conference he raved that Snapchat is the “new TV for teens and young adults.” He also praised the company for finally going public, rather than waiting and raising funds from private markets.
Discover’s advancements mean real-time updates and educational information are front and center. Publishers continue to push content, while other media outlets look to join. In February 2017, The Washington Post announced their new daily Discover edition. The Post became the first media partner to provide multiple updates each day, seven days a week. They have plans to take users behind the scenes for national and worldwide coverage. (Now This, Harper’s Bazaar, Vulture, The Dodo, and even The Economist have joined, too.)
Our golden age of television increasingly features few or no ads — think HBO, Netflix, Amazon. Snap is offering brands a way to get back in front of people and associate themselves with quality content.
So will we witness another overly saturated medium with repetitive content? One thousand snaps and nothing’s on? We’ll have to tune in to find out.