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NBC Universal and Snap are creating a studio for Snapchat-only content

Media giant NBC Universal is teaming up with Snap to found a brand new studio with the sole mission of creating content for Snapchat users.

Published onOctober 17, 2017

How much video do you watch on your phone? Do you count it in minutes or in hours? Cell phones have revolutionized how we consume news and media, and a new venture from Snap and NBC Universal is looking to capitalize on that. The two companies have created a joint venture to produce scripted programming to air on Snapchat.

The new joint venture studio doesn’t have a name yet, but it has hired Lauren Anderson to head the project. Anderson was NBC Entertainment’s Senior VP of Current Programming and has a history of working with Snapchat. She’ll be charged with building on the success that NBCU has already had on Snapchat’s platform.

To garner that success, the new studio will work with multiple content creators. It has already reached a deal with indie filmmakers Mark and Jay Duplass to come on board. The brothers have gained notoriety recently for their shows “Room 104” and “Togetherness”, as well as inking a four-movie deal with Netflix. Mark Duplass has already said he and his brother have several concepts for scripted and unscripted shows. The concepts span from comedy to drama, horror, and documentaries. Speaking to Variety, Mark Duplass said:

We’re definitely thinking about their user base, what would appeal to their core group of users, who are essentially millennials. If we make one show and it’s really doing well, we might just stick with that – and do 100 episodes of that show.
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NBCU and Snap haven’t specified how many series the Duplass brothers will produce, but are targetting eight to ten minutes per episode. The companies say we’ll see content in 2018, but haven’t given any more details beyond that. NBCU was convinced to move forward on the project by Snapchat’s large user count, 173 million active users, and the high level of engagement it sees on its current Snapchat-specific offerings. The new studio will be a 50/50 ownership between NBC Universal and Snap.

One of the most interesting aspects of the new venture for the Duplass brothers is figuring out how to tell compelling stories in a vertical format. Since all of the content will be consumed within the Snapchat app, they will have to frame their content around the dimensions of a phone’s screen. But, Mark Duplass says the brothers are ready for the challenge:

“It’s an exciting process of discovery: How do I use this frame in an interesting way to tell a story?”

What do you think of the new joint venture? Are you currently consuming most of your content on your phone? Are you willing to watch eight to ten minute episodes on a small screen? Let us know down in the comments.