Snapchat taps Arnold Schwarzenegger, Serena Williams for ‘creator shows’

Social media company Snap is moving further into original programming by tapping celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Serena Williams for its newly launched ‘Creator Shows’.

The content will last between three and five minutes, with eight to 10 episodes per season, and will feature celebrities such as Williams, Schwarzenegger and Kevin Hart, along with creators like Emma Chamberlain, Loren Grey, and Rickey Thompson.

Shows on offer include a motivational advice programme called Rules of Success with Arnold Schwarzenegger, retro toy unboxing series Throwback Toys with Jordyn Jones, and Chasing Clout with Spencer Pratt. They will start airing this summer on Snapchat’s Discover page.

The company has said that the shows will be first-person, shot vertically and be lifestyle-oriented, with themes around beauty, fitness, dance and fashion.

Creator Shows look set to be competition for Instagram’s IGTV rather than the upcoming highly-polished short-form VOD platform Quibi, but all are attempting to tap into the highly coveted youth audience.

Snap has experimented with its own content to varying degrees of success over the past four years. Its Snap Channel business was shuttered after just a year in 2015, before the company moved back into originals two years later with Good Luck America.

Since then it has an array of originals including Co-Ed, a comedy from the Duplass Brothers, mystery thriller Class of Lies, and Endless Summer, a docuseries following rising stars in Laguna Beach. More recently, Nick Bell stepped down as VP of content to be replaced by Jared Grusd, formerly CEO of Huffington Post, who initially joined the company as chief strategy officer.

Snap says that Snapchat reaches an estimated 90% of 13-24 year olds in America, and 75% of 13-34 year olds. The former figure is more than Facebook, Instagram and Messenger put together. Snapchat attracted four million new users in Q1 2019, following a disappointing 2018 where it lost users.

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