Snapchat will air first NBCUniversal show on Discover on August 22

NBCUniversal will produce original shows to air on Snapchat's Discover platform and will share ad revenue with Snapchat.

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"The Voice on Snapchat" will be the first NBCUniversal program to air on Snapchat as part of the two companies' deal.

“The Voice on Snapchat” will be the first NBCUniversal program to air on Snapchat as part of the two companies’ deal.

The semblance between Snapchat and TV has been noticeable for a few years. Its content is live and fleeting like pre-DVR TV. Its ads are slotted between that content like TV ads. And now its content is getting even more TV-like.

Snapchat has signed a multi-year deal with NBCUniversal for the TV conglomerate to produce original shows, including ones tied to “The Voice” and “The Tonight Show,” that will air within the mobile app’s Discover section, a Snapchat spokesperson confirmed.

NBCUniversal will take the lead in selling ads against the shows, according to a person familiar with the matter. The media company will split the revenue with Snapchat, according to the Snapchat spokesperson, who declined to answer questions about whether NBCUniversal will be exclusively responsible for ad sales and whether money is changing hands between the two companies in any other way. A spokesperson for NBCUniversal declined to comment on the deal’s terms.

The first NBCUniversal program to debut will be “The Voice on Snapchat.” That five-episode series will premiere on August 22 and feature the reality competition’s judges, like Alicia Keys and Blake Shelton, appraising performances that people submit online for a chance to appear on the TV show’s season premiere on September 19, according to a press release announcing the deal.

E! News will also produce a weekly pop culture news show, “The Rundown,” that will premiere on September 8. That show will include some segments that will only air on Snapchat. NBCUniversal also plans to create shows tied to “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” among other brands it owns.

For Snapchat, the deal is a way to grab more attention from both its audience and advertisers. In addition to messaging their friends, following celebrities’ Stories and catching up on news and world events with Discover and Live Stories, people will be able to tune into a new form of TV within a single app. And advertisers who may have been wary about investing in this new form of media may take comfort in the familiarity of NBC’s programming and ad sales staff shepherding them into this brave new world.

For NBCUniversal, the deal is both media and marketing. It’s able to promote its TV shows to Snapchat’s young audience and gain a toehold in a new place that people go for entertainment. “By partnering with Snapchat, we can combine the largest, most creative portfolio in television with a technology platform that’s evolving and complementing how we engage with audiences,” NBCUniversal chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships Linda Yaccarino said in a statement.

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About the author

Tim Peterson
Tim Peterson, Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat's ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar's attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon's ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube's programming strategy, Facebook's ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking's rise; and documented digital video's biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed's branded video production process and Snapchat Discover's ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands' early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo's and Google's search designs and examine the NFL's YouTube and Facebook video strategies.

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