NBC News is bringing news broadcasts to Snapchat, the company announced today, with the launch of a twice-daily headline news show it’s calling “Stay Tuned.” The show aims to connect with younger viewers who no longer get their news from traditional television, nor connect with a trusted anchor during a nightly broadcast as generations before them.
Instead, the two- to three-minute news show will feature four or five segments focused on the top national and international stories of the day, including politics, pop culture and more. Beyond simply airing the news, the show also aims to explain its importance and provide context.
“We’re assuming the audience is not necessarily attuned to every last coming and going with the news, but we’re also assuming that they have a real hunger for what’s going on in the world,” explains NBC News’ head of digital, Nick Ascheim, of the show’s target audience.
The result is a show that feels like a compressed version of a news broadcast, with card-style graphics introducing the upcoming stories, interjected video clips of key news events and sound bites and a quick-paced format to keep those with short attention spans engaged. Hosts explain the news simply, but without dumbing it down. Meanwhile, some recorded quotes — like a Trump statement, for example — are displayed with captions that have a more youthful feel. In fact, the captions resemble the stickers used to annotate photo and video on social media — perfect for screenshotting.
Ascheim says that the company wanted to do a news show for the younger audience, specifically those on Snapchat, because they represent an “audience we would likely not be reaching otherwise.”
“They don’t watch television in the traditional, linear sense,” Ascheim adds, “but they’re ready and willing to consume lots of video on their phones.” The goal with “Stay Tuned” is to make watching the news a part of their daily routine.
The show itself is being hosted by NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz, who has contributed to the Today Show, NBC Nightly News and MSNBC; and Savannah Sellers, previously a digital correspondent and weekend reporter with MSNBC.
At launch, the show will air twice per day, at 7 AM and 4 PM ET in the U.S. and Canada, but NBC is prepared to handle breaking news and special reports, as needed, which could lead to additional shows per day on some occasions. Future shows may also begin to integrate correspondents reporting from the field — as you’d see on more traditional broadcasts.
“Stay Tuned” itself is filmed in New York, where a team of 30 producers, editors, writers, graphic designers, journalists and more helped to roll out the new content on a non-stop basis. The show will be supported through advertising and sponsorships — similar to Snap investor NBCU’s prior efforts in the space; the ad revenue is split with Snapchat.
STX Entertainment is the launch ad partner for the new show. They will be promoting the upcoming film “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”
This is NBC News’ first ever daily show for Snapchat, as well as the first daily news show for Snapchat’s platform. While there are a number of news publishers on Snapchat, their stories are not produced in the same format — they’re not video-only, with no text, and recorded twice per day like this.
NBCU has already launched several other Snapchat shows, like “The Voice” on Snapchat, which saw viewer numbers climb by 53 percent between seasons 1 and 2. Meanwhile, E!’s “The Rundown” now averages more than 7 million viewers — a number that’s tripled since September. Episodes of A+E’s “Second Chance” has reached over 8 million unique viewers.
To put these Snap show numbers in perspective, the top 10 prime time TV programs of 2016 ranged from 14.4 million to 19.9 million viewers, per Nielsen.
Update: Snap show numbers were updated after publication. Details on advertising was also added.