Snapchat Plans to Offer Scripted Content by End of the Year

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival yesterday, Snapchat’s head of content Nick Bell said the social platform will likely offer scripted content via Snapchat Shows by the end of the year. However, Bell does not see Snapchat as a broadcast TV killer. “Mobile is the most complementary thing to TV that has been around,” Bell said. “We’re really capturing the audience who are not probably consuming TV at the same rate and pace of engagement that they once were.” He noted that NBC’s “The Voice” and ABC’s “The Bachelor” both experienced a boost in viewer numbers after launching Snapchat offshoots.

“While Snapchat’s plans seem vague, focusing on scripted shows feels like an inevitable decision,” suggests The Verge. “Scripted, original content could help Snapchat legitimize its entertainment goals while giving it more control over the content it provides to users.”

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Snapchat has been hesitant to move into scripted content due to the potential expense, but Bell said the company is pushing forward and we should expect to see original programming by the end of the year.

According to Variety, “the scripted fare will conform to Snapchat’s view that long-form content isn’t suited to mobile, which Bell sees as ‘fundamentally a new medium.’ The optimum length for Snapchat videos remains three to five minutes.”

In addition to deals with ABC, CNN, NBC, the BBC and Vice Media, Snapchat inked a $100 million agreement with Time Warner earlier this summer for 10 Snapchat Shows.

“Beyond complementing television, Snapchat could also fit into the movie ecosystem, particularly with regard to studio tentpoles and franchises, Bell said. Original morsels on Snapchat could help keep interest alive in a franchise, a way to fill in the gap between installments,” reports Variety.