Snap’s VP of Content Nick Bell has dropped a pretty heavy hint that the Snap team will be looking into original content by the end of the year.
While some might question the app’s ability to compete in the cut throat world of content, especially considering the previous failure in this area, there are an interesting couple of ideas coming out of the team. What is important to note is this does not seem to be a direct competition for the traditional players in the content game.
“Mobile is the most complementary thing to TV that has been around,” said Bell (courtesy of Variety). “We’re really capturing the audience who are not probably consuming TV at the same rate and pace of engagement that they once were.”
Snap can’t do things the same way other OTTs can. If it does try to take on the OTTs or traditional TV players at their own game, it will fail spectacularly. As Bell pointed out, there is still no better place to watch content than on a TV, or at the very least a laptop or tablet. Those who think the experience of watching content on a smartphone will compete with the larger screens are delusional. As a mobile only platform, Snap will have to think about things a bit differently.
The idea for original content will be daily videos, which will be three to five minutes long, focusing more on close up shots, as opposed to big, wide cinematic experiences. And it’s not a bad idea. Snap is a different type of platform to a traditional OTT disruptor, so any new ideas will have to be truly innovative.
“We see mobile as being fundamentally a new medium,” said Bell. “Snapchat is creating a new mobile language.”
In this sense, Snap is showing it is a smart cookie once again. Why compete with the traditional TV players when you can offer something complimentary? It’s a new format which can provide an alternative view on content. Imagine side-plots from Coronation Street or East Enders which are delivered to users on a daily basis. It could potentially build on existing stories, offering a different view point or more detail which cannot make the cut on the big screen.
It’s a smart move. Instead of competing with the likes of Facebook and Netflix, which offer more suitable platforms and larger pots of cash, the team has essentially created its own medium, laser focused on younger demographics, who have been more difficult to reach in recent years.
We’re not too sure which way this idea will go. Either it will be a roaring success, and you’ll see a few of the OTTs once again stealing a Snap idea, or a complete and utter failure. Sometimes good ideas just don’t catch on the first time you try to launch them. Think about Facebook’s first foray into the bot world. But Snap has shown it is a pretty stubborn business.