NBC News launched a daily newscast called Stay Tuned on Snapchat today, hosted by Savannah Sellers and Gadi Schwartz.
This is the first daily news program on Snapchat, and the first news show of any kind to be produced by a third party on the platform. Snapchat has invested heavily in news production in the last two years: making a three-minute version of Good Morning America in-house, creating Discover channels for outlets like The New York Times and Vice, and launching a news devision headed by CNN’s Peter Hamby.
NBC News has done its own staffing and production work for this program, putting together a team of 30, according to Variety. That team will be led by Andrew Springer, who used to be the director of growth at Mashable.
The show will be between two and three minutes long. It will usually run twice on weekdays and once on weekend days, but NBC says it will make breaking news segments when necessary (hence the enormous, around-the-clock staff). Nick Ascheim, a senior VP of digital content at NBC News told Variety, “There is a generation of people who are going to be cord-nevers, cord-cutters. We need to know how to reach them.” This won’t involve dumbing the news down, according to Ascheim, but will involve more creative thinking about vertical footage and a shorter format.
His belief that Snapchat is the key to get NBC in front of a younger audience shouldn’t be any surprise: NBCUniversal invested $500 million in Snap’s IPO this March, a decision that CEO Steve Burke explained to the LA Times as “beacon investing,” comparing it to Microsoft’s $1 billion bet on Comcast in 1997. “We think we are going to make money on our investments in Snapchat, BuzzFeed and Vox. As importantly, our investments make it clear to our people that these are special companies and we want to work closely with them and learn from them.”
We’ll see if hiring 30 people to create a single two-minute news program on an app is really a lesson a gigantic, traditional media company needs to learn.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Vox Media, which owns this website.