Is Snapchat Your Next Content Creator?


By Adam R Jacobson

Chances are you’ve heard a bit about Snap Inc., parent of the Snapchat app that just about every smartphone user between the ages of 10 and 30 has installed.

snapchatLast week, the big news was about Snap’s initial public offering (IPO). The Venice Beach, Calif.-based company is all set to trade on the NYSE as “SNAP,” and all sorts of journalistic punditry has wound its way around the web. With a market value for Snap Inc.’s IPO set at between $19.5 billion and $22.2 billion, Quartz labeled it “a low-ball IPO valuation” that shows “it’s trying to avoid the missteps of Twitter.” At the same time, Motley Fool offered “1.28 billion reasons why Snap isn’t a threat to Facebook.”

With Snap shares set to go public in just about a week, with a range of $14 to $16 per share, the yammering over whether its another overheated tech unicorn or truly a game-changer in a rapidly changing tech universe won’t likely cease soon.

Yet, Snap is doing something very intriguing with a major pay-TV network. This initiative could be of high interest to radio and TV broadcast companies. Why? Snapchat is now a content creator — and not just a distributor.

Snap Inc. and Discovery Communications on Feb. 16 announced a new deal to develop “Shows” for Snapchat’s Discover platform.

As defined by the two companies, “Shows” on this platform are “premium short-form mobile video” produced exclusively for Snapchat.

Have a paper and pen handy, readers, because ideas are already exploding in my brain. I’d also call in a trusted 25-year-old who is working in some capacity at your broadcast property, and get brainstorming on ways this could generate more money for you.

Under this agreement, the companies will produce new series created specifically for Snapchat’s “mobile-first” audience, as well as “premium short-form mobile video” inspired by some of Discovery Communications’ ratings winners Shark Week and Mythbusters.

The Shows are expected to debut for Snapchatters in the U.S. in the coming months.

So, here’s the deal: A technology company that could be considered a “threat” to “old media” is teaming up with said “old media” to provide Snapchateros something unique and valuable — content.

Guess what, radio and TV. You are content creators. What’s the one thing that a socially focused platform needs to fully connect with its users? Content.

What Discovery and Snap have just done should absolutely be replicated with iHeartMedia, Entercom (pre- and post-CBS Radio merger), Beasley Media Group, Cumulus Media, and … well, just about every radio station owner with some high-profile personalities that can extend their personality while your station extends their brand via Snapchat.

Television stations can also benefit, as seen here with Discovery. Does your morning news crew like to goof around during commercial breaks? Old friend Ken Rosato, morning co-anchor of WABC-7 in New York, regularly posts video to Facebook whenever he’s able to. Ken’s become a master at this, and it humanizes through humor the delivery of news and information. Sure, Ken is blessed to be on the No. 1-rated morning news program in the biggest market in the U.S. But, add in Snapchat, and a whole new set of possibilities transpires. That’s because millennials and centennials (a.k.a. Gen Z) are likely to access this content.

Of course, the content better be good — and of appeal to millennials. That’s not to say it should be flashy and “dumbed down.” But, it’s incumbent on the content producer to ensure that the Snapchat Shows are in line with what all consumers would expect when tuning to Channel 7, or when they listen to Uncle Joe Benson on 100.3 The Sound in L.A., or when they interact with Big Mama and the Wild Bunch at WXKB-FM 103.9 in Ft. Myers-Naples, Fla.

“We’re thrilled to introduce our iconic Discovery content to the Snapchat community,” Paul Guyardo, Discovery Communications’ Chief Commercial Officer, said in prepared comments. “There are few other platforms as dynamic and engaging, especially among younger audiences.”


For its part, Snap Inc. VP/Content Nick Bell said, “Discovery [has] world-class storytellers who have turned unlikely subjects into cultural phenomena. We have seen what they can do when developing and producing creative concepts for TV, and we’re excited to see what’s in store as they apply their talent and expertise to this new medium.”

How excited would Nick Bell be if he could see what your radio and TV station’s top talent could bring.

For Snap to have great Shows, why not collaborate more with our successful shows.

Let’s leverage our strengths, Snap. That’s a great way to make your IPO valuation a true bargain in the years to come.