Snap and NBCUniversal launch digital content studio

Yolanda Curtis
October 18, 2017

The studio will be based in Santa Monica.

The two companies have established a studio joint venture to produce programming exclusively for the social-messaging and media platform. That may be why the company is teaming up with NBCUniversal to produce content for entertainment specifically on apps. Earlier this year, NBC invested $500 million in Snap as part of the company's IPO.

The first project will be a scripted series produced by Donut, the production house formed by the Duplass brothers, the creative force behind "The Skeleton Twins", a comedy-drama starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, and "Togetherness", a series for HBO.

Hearst is also boosting its investment in Snapchat Discover, raising the frequency of contributions from its biggest magazines to twice a week, double the previous frequency, according to Business Insider, which first reported the news.

NBCU was Snap's first partner on Shows and has produced an array of programming across genres, including an entertainment news series based on E!'s The Rundown and its first daily news show, NBC News' Stay Tuned.

Lauren Anderson, who most recently served as senior VP of prime time programming at NBC, is now chief content officer for the digital studio.

NBCUniversal and Snap, the house mother of Snapchat, announced on Tuesday that they were creating a joint venture meant to produce original series for the social network.

In August, Snap said the "Stay Tuned" news show drew more than 29 million unique total viewers since its launch in July, and that more than 40 percent of viewers watched the show at least three days a week, showing potential for publishers to reach younger audiences on Snapchat.

Mark Duplass, creative director of Donut, said: "For us, shooting in that vertical mobile format is a terrifying and thrilling creative challenge". Partnering with Snap seems to be a logical step forward for the media company.

This studio marks an assertion from Snap and NBCU that entertainment for mobile platforms requires a different way of producing content - one they believe traditional Hollywood studios aren't equipped to do.

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