Tech Odds: Snapchat Bursts Into the News Game

Snapchat on an iphone
Photo Credit: Adam Przezdziek (flickr) CC License.

Finally, some good news for Snapchat.

The ailing messaging app hasn’t lived up to its pre-IPO expectations, but now the company finally has something to celebrate. It was just announced that their collaboration with NBC news, “Stay Tuned”, a daily short-form news show, pulled in 29 million unique viewers in less than a month.

And perhaps even more impressive is the fact that over 60% of viewers were aged under 25. To put that in perspective, the average cable news viewer is over 60 years old. Snapchat may have found a new way for cable news to connect with millennials (and maybe even post-millennials).

The news was enough to boost Snap’s stock, possibly ending its downward trajectory. Of course, it’s still very early on. 29 million unique views is undeniably impressive, but the numbers have not been verified by a third party and further details haven’t been released.

If it’s as good as it sounds, this could be a new way forward. Snapchat is no longer just an app for sending disappearing nudes; it’s now a major player in the media game. What’s next for the self-deleting messaging app?



Snapchat Odds

Odds to launch a news show on Snapchat in 2017:

  • VICE: 1/1
  • NPR: 2/1
  • CNN: 3/1
  • Stand-alone Snapchat news: 5/1
  • Fox News: 9/1

While the major news stations have toyed around with Snapchat, only NBC has made a serious attempt to make content specifically for the platform. The success of “Stay Tuned” has definitely piqued their interest.

VICE has partnered with Snapchat since 2015, but their focus has been on a dating series. Given NBC’s success, perhaps they’ll start pushing news shows onto the platform. They already have a young viewership, so it makes a lot of sense.

NPR was quick to take up podcasting and was rewarded for it. Sensing a new opportunity in Snapchat, they could pounce on that too.

CNN and Fox News both struggle to attract millennial viewers, and this could be their way of appealing to a younger audience. But both media monoliths don’t have a reputation for quickly adapting to new technologies, so it’s unlikely we’ll see them making the leap within a year.

There’s also the prospect of a news show made solely by Snapchat. As other technology companies like Netflix and Amazon continue to bypass the middle man and create their own content, maybe Snapchat will follow suit.

Odds “Stay Tuned” is still around by year-end 2018: 1/1

The show is off to a great start, but can it hold onto its audience?

We know that the show received 29 million unique views, but how many actually finished the show? How many came back for more? And how many stopped watching after just a few seconds?

We just don’t know at the moment.