Snapchat is getting a little geekier.
SYFY has launched GEEKLY, a Snapchat Show that covers science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and superhero news and culture as Snap and SYFY expand their digital entertainment programming.
Premiering Thursday with new episodes dropping weekly at 6 a.m. ET, GEEKLY will cover “what’s going on that week in the genre at large and then use the news of the week as a catalyst to allow the two hosts to really debate,” said Matthew Chiavelli, SVP of digital for SYFY. “If you heard two people in a bar having a really spirited debate, we’re hoping to capture that energy.”
Each episode is hosted by YouTube stars Andre Meadows (Black Nerd Comedy) and Whitney Moore (Geek and Sundry) and last between three and five minutes. It’s only available within Snapchat Discover, Snap’s network of media outlets where Mashable is also a partner.
Snapchat has been known for ephemerality, but that’s been starting to change. Previous episodes of GEEKLY will be available via Snapchat Search. Over the past few months, Snap has been making some older content, such as episodes of Snapchat’s own Good Luck America, accessible in the app and will soon roll out that functionality to all Shows.
In this way, Snap is becoming more like YouTube, Facebook Watch, and other online video platforms that allow users to watch shows whenever they choose. That expansion helps increase the amount of time users spend in the app and therefore can expose them to more mobile ads, a.k.a. how Snap makes the majority of its revenue.
GEEKLY is the latest in Snapchat’s growing list of exclusive programming. SYFY is a network of NBCUniversal, which was the first major media company to develop Shows for Snapchat and has since invested $500 million in Snap. NBCUniversal announced its partnership with Snapchat in August 2016 and launched The Voice on Snapchat and E! News The Rundown shortly thereafter.
While Facebook has been copycatting Snapchat’s features, Snap continues to secure exclusive content deals that help make the app appealing to its network of young users. The Rundown pulls in more than 7.5 million viewers per episode, as of September.
Snapchat has “scale in what we’ve seen from our colleagues elsewhere in the portfolio. There’s definitely an audience for this thing, and there’s not really anywhere else like it,” Chiavelli said.
The new Show dropped just ahead of Snapchat’s major redesign, which will change how content in Discover appears. Users’ personal consumption habits will inform which Shows and other publisher content appear first. That’s especially important as more partners join the app.
“Anything that creates clearer paths to finding that sort of content on that platform is a good thing,” Chiavelli said. “That’s a common request there on Snap’s part, and it’s good they’re taking it seriously.”