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Snap unveils raft of new shows and launches games service

Social network Snap held its first-ever Partner Summit on Thursday to unveil a list of new original shows as well as launching a new gaming offering and new features.

The purpose of the event is to unveil new products and encourage potential partners to build features or products that work with the Snapchat App.

New Snap originals will begin airing in May 2019 and include a range of genres including serialised scripted dramas and comedies, character-driven docuseries and unscripted social commentary.

Production partners include Bunim/Murray Productions, Dakota Pictures, New Form, and Bazelevs, as well-established film and TV writers and producers.

From New Form arrives Two Sides – a scripted series about a young couple navigating a break up. The producer will also place Can’t Talk Now on the platform, a teen soap that takes place inside the phones of a group of high school freshman.

Dakota Pictures brings in a comedy about two teenage outcasts who discover a mysterious code within a retro computer that can alter real life.

Meanwhile, Buzzfeed will place an untitled ‘Buzzfeed Daily Show’ on the app, which will bring viewers celebrity gossip and entertainment.

Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts and EMJAG Productions is set to launch Sneakerheads, a comedy that follows the misadventures of three college freshman as they navigate the mercurial world of Los Angeles sneaker culture.

Elsewhere, October Films will follow the highs and lows of three up-and-coming artists in Compton Dreams; Bunim/Murray follows a pair of influencers as they film from a haunted location in docuseries Stranded with Sam and Colby; Insurrection Media sets a comedy in a world where everyone knows the exact day they are going to die in Denton’s Death Date.

Snap unveiled its first slate of originals in October 2018, many of which have been renewed for the current slate. Endless Summer by Bunim/Murray Productions, Deep Creek by Woodman Park Productions, an All3Media America company, and The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts, Insurrection Media, and Keshet, will all make a comeback.

Snap claims Endless Summer was watched by over 28 million unique viewers, and more than 40% of the users that completed the first episode The Dead Girls Detective Agency went on to watch the entire season.

Snap Originals appear in the app’s Discover feature, which is set to have a dedicated section for shows. Shows for Snap are shot in vertical format for mobile phones. The social platform monetises the content through six-second ads that users are unable to skip.

Stuart Thomson writes: Snap also used the partner summit to launch Snap Games, offering a raft of mobile-focused games that users can play together that will also be monetised through six-second video ads.

Snap Games can be launched from the Snap Chat bar, allowing multiple users to play together, send chats or use voice chat to communicate.

The service is launching with six titles: Bitmoji Party, Tiny Royale from Zynga, Snake Squad from Game Closure, C.A.T.S. Drift Race from ZeptoLab, Zombie Rescue Squad from PikPok and Alphabear Hustle from Spry Fox.

The new content and other innovations from Snap come as the platform attempts to stabilise and grow its user base in the face of competition from the likes of Instagram. Snap had 186 million daily active users at the end of last year, compared with 187 million a year earlier. The group said that the number of people watching Publisher Stories and Shows had increased by 30% year-on-year.

Snap increased its revenues by 36% to US$390 million in Q4, but continues to burn through cash, albeit at a reduced rate. Free cash flow improved by US$49 million to negative US$149 million in Q4, while EBITDA loss improved to US$109 million to negative US$50 million.