Snap halts investment in Snapchat Originals and cuts 20% staff

Phone Swap India

US-based social media firm Snap, owner of the Snapchat app, will no longer fund original programming amid plans to cut 20% of its workforce as part of a wider restructure.

Snap’s latest investor update revealed that the company is to let go 1,2000 employees and is halting investment into new Snap Original titles for its Discover platform.

The firm has set out three strategic priorities – community growth, revenue growth and augmented reality – and is looking to reduce to cut investment in areas that are not connected to these areas. Instead, Snap will prioritise content from its creators and partners.

The cuts were announced in a memo to staff by CEO Evan Spiegel this week, with the company expecting to save around $500m per annum as a result of the restructure.

Since its launch in 2018, more than 150 projects have been ordered under the Snap Originals banner, including a series based on YA novel The Dead Girls Detective Agency, Off Thee Leash With Megan Thee Stallion and the Ryan Reynolds-fronted Ryan Doesn’t Know. Upcoming hows that have already been commissioned, including Charli Vs. Dixie from Westbrook Media, will still be released.

Last year saw Snap launch its first Indian original, Phone Swap India, with its first UK original, A Fighting Chance, expected to come to the platform soon.

Back in April, Snap’s head of programming for EMEA, India & APAC, Suzy Cox, discussed the company’s content strategy and told TBI how the Discover platform “is basically the world’s best TV station and it’s one that lives on your phone. It’s one that reaches an audience that you can’t find anywhere else.”

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Netflix had appointed two Snap execs, chief business officer Jeremi Gorman and VP of sales Peter Naylor, to help lead the streamer’s move into AVOD.

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