How TV News is Taking Snapchat By Storm

NBC News recently launched a daily show on Snapchat in July, projecting the network into the ranks of The Huffington Post, NPR, Mashable, The New Yorker and many others who use Snapchat to bolster their news audience regularly.

Snapchat users are spending between 25 and 30 minutes on the app every day, according to Business Insider; and, recent research from Business Insider showed that teens between the ages of 13 and 18 who are part of “Generation Z” are spending nearly nine hours a day consuming entertainment media. The majority of teens in the study said they rely on Snapchat and Twitter for their news consumption. According to Mashable, 17 percent of Snapchatters report getting news from the “ephemeral platform.”

Six in ten Americans get their news from social media, according to a Pew Research Center study conducted last year.



The Washington Post previously added Snapchat updates in February to follow its audience, which gathers most of its news from social media, in the Snapchat Discover section of the app–which is meant longer-form content. The Wall Street Journal is one of the only other media outlets using this feature.

The NBC News show will be a twice-a-day update called “Stay Tuned,” that will focus on issues of the day. Stay Tuned will “air” at 7 am and 4 pm EDT on weekdays and 1 pm EDT on weekends, according to The New York Post. The show will also air for specific breaking news events, with the last three to four minutes of each show including two 10-second ads. It can be found on the Snapchat Discover tab.

NBC’s ‘Stay Tuned’ Snapcode, as it appears on Snapchat.

NBC’s format differs from other Snapchat Discover content, which usually only supplements stories and projects already covered normally on other digital channels. The NBC Snapchat show features Snapchat-specific content for the users, channeling a younger audience and tailoring the stories to them.

“There’s a huge appetite for news content from our audience,” Snap’s head of original content, Sean Mills, said in an interview with New York Magazine. “We want this new show to feel very self-contained. Our viewers can go here [Snap] and see something, see all the most important news stories. Expect the show to be ‘visual’ and made in such a way that it’s not necessarily a lean-back experience.”

Stay Tuned is a way for NBC to translate what it already broadcasts on TV into Snapchat’s platform, making TV news accessible to a younger audience that doesn’t typically sit down to watch the nightly news.

“The other night, I was watching an evening newscast. ‘Leading us off tonight,’ the anchor began. Leading us off tonight? The news industry clearly has its own vernacular, a vernacular that won’t work when speaking to a younger audience on Snapchat,” Andrew Springer, Director of Social Strategy at NBC News and co-creator of Stay Tuned said on NBC’s blog. “We need to write and speak the way this generation actually talks when they’re in conversation with each other. We’re certainly pushing the boundaries of traditional video viewing, whether that video is mounted on your living room wall or tucked in your pocket.”

Stay Tuned adds another dimension to news consumption that goes beyond the traditional means of viewing the news: TV, online, digital, and print– and consumption beyond those channels will only continue to grow.  According to an international comScore study, “globally, for all age groups under 45, social media news (28 percent) is now ranked as more important than television news (24 percent).”

Given this, NBC’s new show will only create more opportunity for other outlets to follow suit in creating a show dedicated to Snapchat users, and potentially other novel, millennial outlets.

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