The Culture First Look

Disney to create shows for Snapchat: the next way to watch TV?

The ABC-Disney Television Group is partnering with Snapchat to create two- to six-minute shows in 2017, Disney announced on Wednesday. 

The Snapchat logo is seen on the door of their headquarters in Los Angeles, Oct. 13, 2014.
Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/File
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Disney has signed an agreement to create shows for Snapchat, the company announced Wednesday.

The Disney-ABC Television Group will produce new content for the popular social media app, joining other media companies including Viacom, Comcast’s NBC-Universal, and Time Warner Inc’s Turner Broadcasting System Inc., all of which signed a variety of content and advertising agreements with Snapchat this year. 

As young people increasingly turn away from traditional television and toward social media for their entertainment, media companies are starting to adjust. Snapchat this year surpassed Instagram as the favorite social media network for American teens, as Ben Thompson reported for The Christian Science Monitor earlier this year:

Snapchat has introduced a number of features since its inception as "Picaboo" in 2011, including chat functionality and a digital payment service, but its main draw is the ability to spontaneously create and share the multimedia content its users so ravenously consume...

The app's continued popularity is fueled by its young audience: more than 60 percent of 13- to 34-year-olds in the United States with smartphones use Snapchat, the company reports. That same demographic makes up around 86 percent of the app's user base, with only 2 percent of Snapchatters above the age of 55.

And as of this spring, Snapchat has overtaken the multimedia platform Instagram as the social media network of choice among US teenagers, with Twitter and Facebook lagging behind by 10 percentage points each.

Now, Snapchat is "actively courting" media companies and production studios to make original short-form shows between 2 and 6 minutes long for its Discover feature, Sahil Patel reported for Digiday in October. 

The agreement with the ABC-Disney Television Group will kick off on Jan. 3 with a recap series around ABC's "Bachelor" franchise, titled "Watch Party: The Bachelor." More shows will be revealed later on. 

This is not the first time the ABC-Disney group and Snapchat have partnered up. In February, the two worked together for a special Live Stories event around ABC's broadcast of the Academy Awards. 

"Earlier this year, we worked closely with Snap on a very successful The Oscars Live Story and we look forward to building on that relationship and providing Snapchat’s mobile-centric users with a unique, immersive experience around our shows and brands, said Disney-ABC Television executive John Frelinghuysen in a statement. 

This report includes material from Reuters.

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