Snapchat hired former Fox Broadcasting senior vice president of comedy Marcus Wiley to lead its original programming. Wiley, who joins as head of program planning and development, is expected to focus on the video series and original content in Snapchat’s “Snap Channel,” Deadline reports.
In his previous role, Wiley oversaw several of Fox’s top half-hour comedies, including “The Mindy Project,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “New Girl” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” While at Regency Television, Wiley worked on “Malcolm In The Middle” and “The Bernie Mac Show.”
Though Snapchat started as a one-to-one messaging app, the four-year-old company has since expanded into content curation with “Our Stories” and its own scripted series. The move follows in CEO Evan Spiegel’s acknowledgement of the power of an editor versus pure data-driven content from users. “I really haven’t seen data deliver the results that I’ve seen a great editor deliver,” Spiegel told Bloomberg.
Currently, Snapchat hosts content from media partners, including CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN and People, in a section of the app called Discover that launched in January. But in the past year, Snapchat has been releasing its own content that spreads across all verticals of news:
- For comedy, Snapchat launched a scripted show called “Literally Can’t Even” in January.
- For entertainment, Snapchat plans to launch a docu-series with actress Sofia Vergara.
- For music, Snapchat produced and released music videos with EDM artist Goldroom.
- For sports, Snapchat has begun a weekly series with Major League Baseball Advanced Media.
- For politics, Snapchat hired former CNN national political reporter Peter Hamby as head of news in April.
So far, Snapchat’s videos last only a few minutes, but the company may be experimenting with longer form content. Spiegel said the company is considering removing the feature that requires users to continuously hold their thumb on the screen to watch videos. “I think, for us, it’s holding us back from longer videos being watched on our service,” Spiegel said at Re/code’s Code Conference on Wednesday.
Snapchat has reported that 60 percent of Americans age 13 to 34 are active on the app. These users reportedly watch 2 billion videos a day, Spiegel told Bloomberg. The company was reportedly last valued at over $15 billion.