NBC jumping on the Snapchat train with original content

NBC's Snapchat show is achieving impressive numbers, reaching younger viewers

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COURTESY OF NBC Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Snapchat is a free media messaging app where users can share images and short videos with their friends. It’s become very popular with the younger generation, who seem to enjoy endless hours of puking rainbows and making themselves into slices of toast.

In 2016, media giant NBC decided to capitalize on this popularity by producing original content for some of its hit programs just for Snapchat users. With the vertical video layout of Snapchat, NBC didn’t want to simply resuse video clips from programs. Instead, NBC decided to produce new content.

Popular singing competition The Voice was one of the first featured on Snapchat. The series includes clips from the show’s judges, as well as user-generated singing auditions. Prospective contestants can submit clips showcasing their talents at voicesnaps.com, where they will be reviewed by the show’s judges, who will pick some of the hopefuls to perform in the upcoming season.

But in addition to adding new content for existing shows, NBC has also decided to launch programming that is entirely exclusive to Snapchat, like its show Stay Tuned. First debuted in July, the twice-daily headline news show features around four to five news stories focusing on the day’s most important events. And thus far, it looks to be doing very, very well. According to NBCU, over 40 percent of Stay Tuned’s viewers are watching at least three times a week, and the show already boasts 29 million unique viewers. As TechCrunch points out, that’s about three times the number of viewers who watch NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. 

Around 60 percent of the show’s viewers are under the age of 25, which makes sense given Snapchat’s generally youthful user base. And while it’s still too soon to tell whether or not Stay Tuned is a sustainable success, early signs are quite positive.

All of this means Snapchat users are getting premiere access to mobile content from their favorite NBC programs, and some new ones, too. It also allows the network to reach millions of fans instantly right in the palm of their hand on an app they’re already using. It’s also a win for NBC’s advertisers who are associated with this premium content and get to reach users in a new and dynamic way. All this is in the hope of reaching a younger audience that simply doesn’t watch television as much anymore, in order to lure them back to the living room.