Snapchat has just announced the launch of 26 premium video series for its UK audience which could rival the likes of Instagram’s IGTV and YouTube.
Rami Saad, head of international content partnerships at Snap, told Mashable at an event on Tuesday that the company is expanding its Snapchat Shows product with local video-on-demand programming.
Partnering with media organisations and influencer agencies, Snap unveiled a roster of new original series which can be viewed in its new “show profiles”. The new feature, according to Saad, is an auto-play “destination” within the app that allows viewers to subscribe to series, “catch up where you left off” and to automatically advance to the next episode.
The 17-strong line-up of partners includes: VICE, Sky, The Guardian, PinkNews, Channel 4, Culture Trip, talent agency Gleam Futures, JOE.co.uk, Cosmopolitan UK, Manchester City, among others.
VICE is launching five series on the platform, including shows about “how the top 1 percent spends its money,” life hacks, and people who work with animals.
Snapchat Shows brings a new “opportunity for commercials”
Sky is launching a series called Hotspots, featuring its “top international correspondents” who travel to the “most dangerous places in the world” and sharing the stories of people they encounter there. One episode tells the story of an 8-year-old boy mining cobalt, and another explores that of a woman being sex trafficked in Atlanta, U.S.
Alan Strange, Output Editor at Sky, said they’d had no editorial input from Snap. “We decide what we wanna make,” he said at the event. Snap also said it was not providing any monetary input in the production of the shows.
Saad said the launch brings a new “opportunity for commercials” — six second non-skippable ads — to be distributed to its 5 million-strong Shows audience in the UK.
In June 2018, Instagram launched IGTV a new platform allowing publishers and content creators to produce longform video. In October 2018, Snapchat announced the launch of Snap Originals, a distinctly Netflix-esque product featuring a lineup of scripted, serialised shows. This expansion of Snapchat’s video series offering suggests it could well be setting its sights on competing against the likes of Netflix in the original programming stakes.