Snapchat hires former Fox exec to beef up original scripted content


With nearly 100 million daily active users and an IPO likely on the way, Snapchat is ready to take on even bigger challenges than their new emoji system. The growing social network looks to further expand into the original scripted content space, and to this end, has recently hired Marcus Wiley, a former Fox exec.

According to Deadline, Wiley is expected to increase the amount of original content featured on the Snap Channel. Videos will likely be short-form narrative scripted/musical series, meant to appeal to the social network’s young user base, who reportedly watch about 2 billion videos daily.

Having previously worked as SVP and co-head of comedy at Fox, Wiley was involved in the creation of shows such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, and The Mindy Project. His resume also includes his participation in the development of Malcolm in the Middle and The Bernie Mac Show. Given his body of work, Wiley should be able to appeal to a broad audience, while still targeting the 13- to 34-year-olds who are Snapchat’s bread and butter.

Once strictly an app for sending photos and videos that are automatically deleted after being viewed, Snapchat’s features have expanded since its launch in 2011 and now range from sending money to curating news. The move to hire Wiley shows the company’s commitment to keeping their 100 million daily active users engaged, though —let’s face it — users are clearly doing that on their own, too, considering that 65 percent are creating content.

An added benefit could also be increased ad revenue. The app’s users first began to see ads in October 2014, and in January 2015 it was reported that Snapchat was charging advertisers $750,000 a day.