Snapchat Preparing Discovery Media Content Service For Imminent Launch

January 24, 2015 - Written By David Steele

Snapchat seemingly came from nowhere to become the darling social network that everybody wanted a slice of. In under four years, it moved from zero to hero with tens of millions of users and a valuation showing as $10 billion. And now Snapchat are working on moving into the media market, using their existing platform as a starting point, with the new Snapchat Discover service. Discover has been rumored for some time but now a release appears to be imminent. The new service is going to offer a mix of video and text from both Snapchat’s internal team and a portfolio of media providers. Snapchat has secured content deals with news giants such as Vice, CNN and ESPN and has been working on building a comprehensive in-house team of writers, artists and video makers. The new team will be led by Nick Bell, formerly at News. Corp, who joined Snapchat back in April. Hires include Verge reporter Ellis Hamburger, blogger Nicole James in the “creative” position, Matt Krautstrunk as the “video editor” and C J Smith is a Snapchat “content producer.”

How is Snapchat going to finance this? Advertisement, including the traditional form of pre-roll video as well as those designed to with the disappearing Snapchat image signature. Costs will vary between $0.15 to $0.30 per view. This is higher than YouTube adverts, which range up to $0.10 a showing. And I’m not sure about Snapchat using disruptive advertises and how this will work with the service. Actually, no; I’m not sure how well Snapchat can migrate from a quick hit picture provider into a news provider. A video of a few minutes long is going to feel like an eternity compared with the ten seconds of a current Snapchat. Giving Snapchat a new flavor is all well and good providing it doesn’t turn away current users. It’s clear that Snapchat is investing in a team to persuade users to stay tuned for more than these few seconds.

Still, Snapchat has managed to create successful media in the past. It’s sent users holiday animations and has covered live events using the Our Story feature, which bundles up short video clips and still images as “snaps,” related to a single event. The Our Story debuted at the World Cup in Rio and has been successful, but Discover moves things up a gear or two. However, perhaps Snapchat is buoyed by the success that other Internet companies have had around the world – most notable Netflix, who are increasing their investment into their own productions. Over to our readers: do you use Snapchat and if so, are you interested in their new Discovery service? Let us know in the comments below.