If the next seismic shift in television is toward mobile, short-form content, Snapchat has already staked out a pole position.
NBC News’ twice-daily Snapchat show, “Stay Tuned,” has garnered more than 29 million unique viewers since launching July 18, the companies announced Friday. The show’s debut came after NBCUniversal invested $500 million in Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, as part of its initial public offering in March.
“Stay Tuned,” the first daily news program on Snapchat, is co-hosted by Savannah Sellers and Gadi Schwartz (pictured above). It features two episodes a day during the week and one each day on weekends, plus breaking news updates. According to Snapchat, more than 40% of viewers tune in at least three days a week.
As NBC News — along with other TV news outlets — struggles to find a younger audience, it’s significant that more than 60% of the “Stay Tuned” audience is under the age of 25, according to Snapchat.
NBC has several other shows on Snapchat, including offshoots for “The Voice” (which earned the social-app its first-ever Emmy nomination), “World of Dance,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and “Saturday Night Live.” NBC and BuzzFeed (in which the Peacock also has a large investment) are teaming up again to produce content for Snapchat Discover for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea, as they did last year for the Rio Summer Olympics.
Of course, NBC News almost surely isn’t getting TV-level advertising bucks from “Stay Tuned.” Each episode is 2-3 minutes in length, with four to five segments per show, covering national and international news, politics, pop culture and other topics. NBC News said Schwartz will provide a “Stay Tuned” report on Monday, Aug. 21, from Casper, Wyo. — a city that’s in the path of total solar eclipse.
Snap has struggled since its IPO, with its first two quarterly reports missing Wall Street expectations on both earnings and users growth. Snapchat averaged 173 million daily active users in Q2, up 4% from 166 million during Q1. Snap’s stock has tumbled about 50% from its post-IPO high, as investors fretted about valuation and Snapchat’s growth trajectory. Also pressuring the stock were concerns that insiders would sell their shares once they were clear to do so; CEO Evan Spiegel said on the Q2 call that he and CTO Bobby Murphy — who together hold 420 million Snap shares — would not sell any of their shares this year.