Snap and the BBC are bringing six exclusive episodes of Planet Earth II to Snapchat. The short run of mobile episodes will debut on February 17th, one day before the full series runs on BBC America. (Planet Earth II aired on BBC in late 2016.) The Snapchat episodes will cover the same topics from the televised series — Islands, Mountains, Jungles, Deserts, Grasslands, and Cities — but will also use exclusive footage not seen on TV.
Two of the big draws of Planet Earth II will be missing on Snapchat. The episodes won’t feature Sir David Attenborough (actress Sophie Okonedo is the narrator instead), and they obviously won’t be available in 4K. But Snap says they will feature binaural, or 3D, audio.
The Snapchat episodes of Planet Earth II will be released weekly and will run about 4–6 minutes each. They’ll appear in the Discover section of the app alongside the daily content created by publishers like BuzzFeed, NBC, and The Daily Mail.
Users can subscribe to the Planet Earth II Snapchat episodes using the app’s QR-style Snap codes. Snap codes will also be how users access episodes once they’ve aired and been removed from Discover. As other features get copied by Facebook on its mobile apps (including Instagram), Snapchat continues to feature Snap codes prominently; just last week, Snapchat started allowing users to create custom Snap codes that can link directly to websites.
Snap publicly filed for an IPO last week, and that move shed more light on the company’s financials than ever before. Most notable was Snap’s losses: it followed a $372.9 million loss in 2015 with a $514.6 million last year. Snap cited a growth in advertising dollars — a jump from $58.7 million in 2015 to $404.5 million in 2016 — and strengths like ad targeting and engagement time as reasons for investor optimism. (The average user spends 25 to 30 minutes in the app per day, but Snap didn’t say how that usage was divided up.)
We also learned that, while Snapchat has 158 million daily active users, the app’s user base growth has slowed significantly. That hasn’t stopped Snap’s push into original content: Snapchat has recently developed mobile-focused versions of shows like The Voice and ESPN’s Game Day, and currently hosts one for The Bachelor.