Snapchat is putting a millennial spin on true crime — its first stab at the genre — in an original nonfiction series from Condé Nast Entertainment.
The six-episode crime series, “True Crime/Uncovered,” was produced exclusively for Snapchat by Condé Nast Entertainment. The show explores six different mysterious and horrific crimes, with Snap betting the chilling real-life tales will be a hit across its youth-skewing user base.
Each five-minute episode, hosted by actress Samantha Miller, uses digital video footage, interviews, police evidence and other sources to explore the crimes and the human psychology behind them.
The first episode will be released on Snapchat at 12 p.m. ET today, with the next two episodes running this Wednesday (March 14) and Friday (March 16). NBCUniversal’s Oxygen cable network is the sponsor for the first three episode; CNE and Snapchat are in the process of signing another sponsor for the final three episodes, which will be announced at a later date.
“‘True Crime/Uncovered’ is our first foray into the true crime genre and Condé Nast Entertainment has done a tremendous job telling these stories in a manner that we hope will raise awareness and resonate with our community,” said Vanessa Guthrie, Snap’s partner lead for Snapchat Shows.
The premiere episode, “The Deadly Tinder Date,” examines the 2014 case of Warriena Wright, whose whose Tinder date in Australia turned deadly after she fell from a balcony — leaving unresolved the question of whether her death was an accident.
Episode two examines the 2009 case of Annie Le, a Yale University graduate student who vanished five days before her wedding before being found murdered. The third episode delves into the 2014 Slender Man case, in which two 12-year-old girls stabbed their friend nearly to death in an effort to please the fictional character Slender Man.
“This genre of true crime hadn’t really been explored in mobile, with the intimacy of vertical video,” said Teal Newland, senior VP, marketing and new platforms, Condé Nast Entertainment.
“True Crime/Uncovered” isn’t associated with any Condé Nast brand, and “we thought the show was strong enough it didn’t necessarily need an association with a brand,” Newland said. Episodes will appear in the Snapchat Discover tab, and original shows from Snap are featured in a separate tile. Previously released episodes will be available using Snapchat’s Search feature.
Condé Nast operates several channels on Snapchat’s Discover platform for Wired, GQ, Self, Teen Vogue and other magazine brands. Newland said “True Crime/Uncovered” — CNE’s first show for the social platform — “is a totally different scope of project.”
Regarding Snapchat’s recent redesign, which has sparked a backlash among some users, Newland said it’s too early to see how the change is affecting consumption patters. But, she said, “We were excited as a publisher that with the new design, Discover allows our content to have a more prominent place in the Snapchat ecosystem.”
CNE brought Miller, the host of “True Crime/Uncovered,” on board through a casting call. “We wanted someone who could bring a level of gravitas to the series, but also who was appealing to younger audiences,” said Newland.
The series was directed by George Wasgatt and written by Katherine Chan.