Oct 10, 2018

Snapchat launches first slate of original shows

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Snapchat is launching Snap Originals, its first full slate of roughly a dozen serialized original shows, including scripted series and docuseries. The new shows, produced by the creators of some of TV's biggest hits, were written and shot exclusively for the app.

Why it matters: The launch is a part of a larger push by Snapchat to get younger generations to watch TV-quality video daily on their phones — forming a new type of daily video habit outside of watching TV on the big screen.

The details: Snap Originals' shows will include drama, mystery, horror, comedy and more. In the coming months, Snap says it will release animation, romance and more young adult dramas. Shows are typically around five minutes in length.

  • Some shows are also leveraging technology features that are native to Snapchat, like augmented reality "lenses," to get users highly engaged.
  • Expect these shows to look and feel very different than other mobile video. The plot structure will focus on hooking users upfront, the production cues will move more quickly and there are a ton of split-screens and motion graphics.

The bigger picture: Snap isn't the only company trying to win the attention of younger audiences that are abandoning TV with mobile video. Instagram created IGTV, which will also include its own original programming. And Disney vet Jeffrey Katzenberg is creating NewTV to reach younger audiences on mobile.

Be smart: Snapchat has had a rough few months economically, and is facing extraordinary pressure to increase revenue. In a leaked memo last week, Snap founder Evan Spiegel says he is aiming for the company to be profitable in 2019.

  • In the spring, the company launched 6-second unskippable ads to better monetize some of its video content.
  • Still, some analysts and research firms, like eMarketer, have lowered their ad growth projections for Snap, which has made some investors bearish.

Our thought bubble: Where Snapchat has a clear advantage is that it knows how to create content that actually works within the framework of its app better than anyone. And, unlike its competitors, it has millions of users uploading video content to the platform daily, for it to observe for video engagement behavior. According to the platform, over 3 billion Snaps are created every day.

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Hungary's Viktor Orbán granted sweeping powers amid coronavirus crisis

Viktor Orbán. Photo: Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images

Hungary's parliament passed a law Monday to allow Prime Minister Viktor Orbán almost unlimited power, for an indefinite period, to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: Hungary has taken a sharply authoritarian turn over the past decade under Orbán, and its likely that he and other strongman leaders around the world will seek to maintain powers they gain during the current crisis long after it's over.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 143,055 — Total deaths: 2,513 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. Trump latest: The president brushed aside allegations that China is spreading misinformation about the origin of the coronavirus on "Fox & Friends."
  5. Business updates: Americans are calm about their retirement savings despite coronavirus fallout.
  6. World updates: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will self-isolate after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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BIG3 to create a hybrid reality show about quarantine basketball

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sports are on pause, and there's no timetable for their return. In the interim, leagues, teams and athletes are getting creative with ways to keep fans engaged.

The latest: A "quarantined reality show basketball tournament," courtesy of the BIG3, the upstart 3-on-3 basketball league founded by Ice Cube and his longtime business partner Jeff Kwatinetz.

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