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Snapchats New Originals Feature Shows About Sneakers, Breakups – Variety

Snapchat maker Snap is getting ready to unleash 10 new shows on its audience: The company used its first-ever Snap Partner Summit in Los Angeles Thursday to announce new original content, ranging from unscripted daily entertainment news to scripted shows starring zombies, sneaker culture and teenage angst.

“Mobile is now the dominant medium for telling stories and consuming content,” said Snapchat original content head Sean Mills at the summit Thursday. “In 2019, mobile will surpass television in time spent for U.S. adults. This transformation is creating massive new opportunities.”

Snap wants to make use of those opportunities with shows that are mobile-only, and take cues from the way Snapchat’s users already interact with each other on the platform. One example for this is “Two Sides,” a new teenage drama from New Form that is slated to launch in May. In the show, a teenage couple navigates a modern-day breakup, complete with misunderstood messages, in a split-screen view that shows us the two sides of falling out of love.

The company is also relying on some of the insights it gains from usage patterns on its platform to figure out what kind of content is going to work with its audience. The best example for that is “Sneakerheads,” a scripted comedy series from Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts and EMJAG Productions that is slated to launch in June.

The show is not just about sneaker culture, it was also directly informed by the popularity of the topic on Snapchat, with a Snap spokesperson crediting a story about a sneaker convention that attracted an outsized amount of attention as a key reason why the company commissioned the show.

Snap continues to monetize these originals via its 6-second unskippable ads. Some original shows are partner-funded, while others are funded by the company itself; 2 of the shows announced Thursday were produced by Indigo Development, the joint venture Snap and NBCUniversal formed last year, while others come from BuzzFeed, New Form, Bazelevs and others.

Here’s Snapchat’s entire new slate, as per the company’s press release:

  • “Two Sides” (New Form) – A young couple navigates a breakup in this innovative series told from both characters’ points of view at the same time. Scripted series launches May 2019.
  • “Commanders” (Dakota Pictures) – In this comedy, two teenage outcasts discover a mysterious code within a retro computer that can alter real life. When they decide to use this newfound power to disrupt the cliché social structure, their high school will never be the same. Scripted series launches June 2019.
  • Untitled BuzzFeed Daily Show (BuzzFeed) – BuzzFeed’s daily afternoon show brings viewers the latest celebrity, entertainment, and OMG moments blowing up the internet. Launches Spring 2019.
  • “Sneakerheads” (Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts and EMJAG Productions) – A comedy that follows the misadventures of three college freshmen as they navigate the crazy, shady, mercurial world of Los Angeles sneaker culture. Scripted series launches June 2019.
  • “While Black” (Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts and Main Event Media) – Author, filmmaker, recording artist, and educator MK Asante explores racially charged social issues through candid conversations. Unscripted social commentary launches Summer 2019.
  • “Can’t Talk Now” (New Form) – A teen soap that takes place inside the phones of a group of high school freshman BFFs as juicy drama unfolds across group texts, video chats, and social media. Scripted series launches Summer 2019.
  • “Compton Dreams” (October Films) – Follow the highs and lows of three up-and-coming artists from Compton as they strive to become the next big name in hip-hop. Docuseries launches Summer 2019.
  • “Denton’s Death Date” (Insurrection Media) – This comedy, set in a world where everyone knows the exact day they are going to die, centers on Denton Little, a high school junior whose death date is only a week away. Denton finally starts living his life to the fullest when a series of strange events unfold that may be the key to avoiding his fate. Based on the novel by Lance Rubin. Scripted series launches September 2019.
  • “Stranded with Sam and Colby” (Bunim/Murray Productions) – A pair of influencers film from a haunted location and what starts as something fun quickly takes a terrifying turn. Docuseries launches Fall 2019.
  • “Dead of Night” (Bazelevs in association with Hooked) – Armed with only her phone, a teenage girl must escape a quarantined city full of zombies. Shot in ScreenLife, exclusively from the point of view of the smartphone screen. Based on a Hooked story. Produced by Bazelevs in association with Hooked. Scripted series launches October 2019.

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