Snapchat unveils new shows aimed at monetising users
SNAPCHAT has unveiled a dozen original shows in an attempt to lure back users.
The TV-like shows, a mix of teen dramas and documentaries, are shot vertically to be watched on a smartphone. The Snap “Originals” will have their own section of the mobile app.
While Snapchat is best known for its disappearing instant messages and pictures, the app has had success with broadcast shows from the likes of CBS and the NFL.
Evan Spiegel’s firm is hoping its push into new shows will help it tighten its grip on its teenage user base while giving it a competitive edge over the likes of Facebook and Instagram. Snapchat is battling to turn its user base into cash generators. Its 188m active users was down 3m in its last earnings report. Facebook’s Instagram has increased its user base to over a billion.
Snapchat said that since the start of the year it had tripled the number of users watching its shows. Several of its US shows reach millions of users every day. Its ESPN sports show attracts two million views each day.
The episodes will average five minutes in length, while advertisers will have the opportunity to buy commercial spots. Some of the shows are joint efforts with studios, but some will be fully funded by Snapchat.
In a memo to staff leaked last week, Snapchat chief executive Spiegel set out his aim to make the company, which listed in 2017, profitable next year. Shares in Snap fell almost 4.5pc in early trading.
On Tuesday, analysts reported that Snapchat’s cash position was becoming increasingly difficult and said it may need to raise more funds if it fails to cut costs.