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Snapchat May Create Original Scripted Programming Later This Year

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The platform known for its automatically disappearing videos is hoping original content will make viewers stick around a little longer. Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Nick Bell, Snapchat's head of content, said his company will likely feature original scripted programming by the end of this year. The would be "an interesting next juncture," Variety quoted him as saying.

If it happens, these won't be TV-style productions, but three to five minute stories that work better on the mobile platform.

Bell spent most of the interview talking up Snapchat's success with TV and movie studios. Companion shows to The Voice and The Bachelor have done well, and Snapchat has hosted original sketches from Saturday Night Live and a news show from NBC. Several studios are on board to create programming, with NBC, ABC, the BBC, Vice Media, and Time Warner all signing on. Bell said several partner productions were profitable, but didn't give specifics.

Offering advice for studios looking to take part, Bell said videos that support an established property but are still able to stand by themselves work best. Simply creating behind-the-scenes video isn't enough to resonate with the Snapchat audience, he said.

This actually wouldn't be Snapchat's first venture in original programming, as it created a poorly received show in 2015 called Literally Can't Even.

Snapchat has had a tumultuous time since going public earlier this year, with disappointing earnings reports reducing its stock price. Still, it's had several impressive deals with partners, such as advertising and marketing company WPP announcing it will double its Snapchat budget to $200 million this year.

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