Netflix Hires Ex-Snap Advertising Executives as It Readies Ad-Supported Streaming Plan Launch

Netflix has hired former Snap advertising executives Jeremi Gorman and Peter Naylor as its ramps up efforts to launch a less-expensive ad-supported subscription streaming plan early next year.

The first-ever advertising hires for Netflix (who begin their positions in September) underscore the streaming behemoth’s commitment to supplement stagnating SVOD revenue with millions of incremental advertising dollars.

Netflix’s move to embrace advertising after eschewing the strategy since its inception as a by-mail DVD rental service 25 years ago, comes as major rivals Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+ and Peacock incorporate ad-supported business models. In July, Netflix announced a partnership with Microsoft to provide ad technology.

Gorman, who was chief business officer at Snap, becomes president of worldwide advertising at Netflix.

“As a long-time member of Netflix, I have spent countless hours enjoying the amazing content, and can’t wait to be part of the team,” Gorman wrote on her Linkedin page.

Naylor will replicate his VP of sales title at Netflix after nearly two-and-a-half years at Snap. He has held similar positions at Hulu, NBCUniversal, iVillage and Lycos over the past 24 years.

“It sends a message that Netflix is really serious about building an ad business quickly,” Rich Greenfield, media analyst with LightShed Partners, told Reuters.

Separately, Santa Monica, Calif.-based Snap announced it is cutting 20% of 5,600-member workforce as it endures a fiscal third quarter that finds the social media platform on the path to producing its lowest quarterly revenue growth ever.

“[We must] face the consequences of our lower revenue growth and adapt to the market environment,” CEO Evan Spiegel reportedly wrote in an employee memo.

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Snapchat Streaming New Original Content

Snapchat Sept. 26 announced its new slate of original programming for the social media platform.

The move comes as original production efforts are ramping up among pending over-the-top video services Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max and NBC Universal’s Peacock.

New series include a range of genres, including character-driven docuseries, unscripted shows, and serialized scripted dramas, thrillers, comedies and more.

Over the past year, Snap said time spent watching shows on the platform more than tripled, with total daily time spent by Snapchatters watching Discover increased by over 60%, while the number of daily viewers grew by 35%.

In the U.S., Snapchat reaches 90% of all 13-24 year-olds and 75% of all 13-34 year-olds.

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Snap is partnering with Paul Feig’s Powderkeg, Complex, Sirens Media, and Leftfield Pictures. In addition, musician Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy) will serve as producer and music supervisor, bringing new music to the new scripted series “Everything’s Fine.”

The slate includes:

“Tekashi69 VS The World” – a docuseries tracing the rise and fall of controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, from his earliest days growing up in Brooklyn, through his chart-topping career and star-studded collaborations, to his trouble with the FBI and eventual incarceration.

“VS The World” explores the life and journey of some of the biggest names in hip hop, sports, and entertainment culture, with exclusive footage, commentary, and a totally original perspective.

“Nikita Unfiltered” follows transgender beauty mogul Nikita Dragun as she reveals a vulnerable new side to herself that her millions of fans haven’t yet seen as she starts to date as a woman for the first time.

“The Honeybeez” showcases Alabama State’s plus-size dance squad, is here to prove that dance is for everyone. These young, inspiring HBCU dancers let the haters be their motivators as they showcase their remarkable talents on the biggest collegiate stages.

“Driven” (Big Fish Entertainment, an MGM Company) features an entourage of young entrepreneurs at PTG365 deliver flashy, custom cars to their high roller clients using nothing but their phones and a whole lot of hustle. The high end, exotic car industry will never be the same.

“Mind Yourself” (Barcroft Studios) is anthology series, with each episode painting an honest and intimate portrait of a young person suffering or recovering from a mental health issue. From OCD and body dysmorphia through depression and PTSD, the series gives a human face – and hope – to young people facing similar issues. The unscripted series premieres Winter 2020.

“Everything’s Fine” (Powderkeg)  features Gemma, a college junior with big plans to kill it in the music industry while coping with a brand new bipolar diagnosis. Everything’s Fine is a comedy with an unflinching point of view on what it takes to manage a mental health condition (sometimes well, sometimes disastrously) while striving to be an overachiever.

“Players”  (Loud Labs Media and One Push) showcases Nash Brooks, son of famed NBA player Oscar Brooks and a rising star himself, relocates from Indiana to LA when his Dad is traded. No longer a big fish in a small pond, he has to prove his worth at a fancy west LA private school where he’s not even guaranteed a starting spot on the basketball team.

“Save Me” (Loud Labs Media and One Push). When his online classmate and crush goes missing, isolated homeschooler Jason takes it upon himself to find and save her. But when his search leads him to an off-the-grid “conscious community” that promotes human connection over digital devices, Jason’s character is tested in real life.

In addition, Snap announced it would be renewing the following serialized Snap Originals: “Bringing Up Bhabie” (docuseries) by Invent TV, “Two Sides” (scripted drama) by New Form, and “Kappa Crypto” (scripted comedy) by Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts.

Fox Chief Communications Officer Henderson Joining Snap

Social media platform Snap Dec. 10 announced the hiring of Julie Henderson as chief communications officer. Henderson replaces Mary Ritti, VP of communications, who left Snap last summer after five years.

Henderson, who reports to CEO Evan Spiegel, will lead communications globally as Snap continues to redefine the cellphone camera.

Henderson is currently EVP and CCO for 21st Century Fox. She will assume her position at Snap following the completion of the sale of certain 21st Century Fox assets to The Walt Disney Company.

“Julie will be an outstanding addition to our team,” Spiegel said in a statement. “She brings incredible experience, talent, and integrity, as well as the respect of the tech, media and finance communities.

Prior to her current post at Fox, Henderson was the company’s SVP of communications and corporate strategy, where she led communications and developed company-wide marketing and distribution strategies.



Snap Licenses Video Content from Britain’s Barcroft Media

Snap has licensed eight series from British digital reality TV content creator Barcroft Media.

Shows, which include “Ridiculous Rides,” “Snapped in the Wild,” “Beast Buddies,” “Born Different,” “Dog Dynasty,” “Hooked on the Look,” “Outrageous Homes,” and “Shake My Beauty,” are geared toward younger audiences using mobile devices.

Indeed, “Born Different,” which bowed online Oct. 30 featuring an 11-year-old with an aging condition, reportedly generated 5.2 million views in the first 24 hours.

“We’re really excited about this partnership with Snapchat and to be growing our popular series brands with new young audiences on another one of the world’s premier content platforms,” Alex Morris, creative director of Barcroft Media, said in a statement. “The initial response from Snapchatters around the world has been fantastic.”

The social media app last month announced the launch of Snap Originals and the debut of serialized programming, including its first formal slate of scripted shows and docuseries from Bunim/Murray Productions, the Duplass Brothers and Brad Weston’s Makeready, as well as established film and television writers.

Snap also extended its content production commitments with NBC Universal through 2019, and Viacom committed to creating 10 new Snap Originals. Viacom is also syndicating 500 episodes of its network’s shows to the platform.

Snap Bows Original Programming

Social media app Snap Oct. 10 announced the launch of Snap Originals and the debut of serialized programming, including its first formal slate of scripted shows and docuseries from Bunim/Murray Productions, the Duplass Brothers and Brad Weston’s Makeready, as well as established film and television writers.

Snap also announced NBC Universal extended its content production commitments through 2019, and Viacom has committed to creating 10 new Snap Originals. Viacom also committed to syndicating at least 500 episodes of its network’s shows to the platform.

Snap Originals will be available on the app’s Discover page to Snapchat users globally. It is also introducing new product features that will make it easier for viewers to find, watch and interact with programming.

Every Show will have a dedicated profile page where users can find all available episodes and seasons to watch at once. Each ad-supported episode averages five minutes. Snap recently launched a six-second, non-skippable ad format.

The app has also created portals for several of its shows, enabling users to swipe up from an episode and literally walk into a scene and interact with the objects and characters. It has also developed custom interactive lenses that will enable users to share the show experience with their friends.

Since the beginning of the year, Snap said it has nearly tripled the time viewers spend engaging with its video programs.

“Over the last two years, our highly engaged and loyal audience has helped to define what mobile content should look like,” Nick Bell, VP of content at Snap, said in a statement.

The initial launch slate includes:

  • “Endless Summer”- (Bunim/Murray Productions) – Influencers Summer McKeen and Dylan Jordan try to balance love, friends, family, and fame in this intimate snapshot of their lives in Laguna Beach, California. Docuseries launches )ct. 10.
  • “Class of Lies”- (Makeready) – Best friends slash college roommates Devon and Missy crack cold cases on their successful true-crime podcast…but can they solve the most important case of all when their best friend disappears without a trace? Scripted series launches Oct. 10.
  • “Co-ed” (Duplass Brothers’ DBP Donut, Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts) – Juggling classes, parties, and down-the-hall crushes, freshman roommates Ginny and Chris try their best to face whatever college throws at them, discovering who they are along the way. Scripted series launches Oct. 10.
  • “Vivian” (NBCU Digital Lab, The Intellectual Property Corporation in association with Wilhelmina) – Vivian is the youngest model scout at Wilhelmina, one of the most prestigious modeling agencies in the world. She takes us inside this exclusive world where she has the power to make wannabes’ dreams come true — but can she do that for her own? Docuseries launches Oct. 22.
  • “The Dead Girls Detective Agency”- (Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts, Insurrection and Keshet) – This darkly comedic supernatural soap follows Charlotte Feldman, a young woman who must work from beyond to figure out how and why she died, in order to avoid an eternity in purgatory. Based on the young adult novel by Susie Cox. Scripted series launches Oct. 22.
  • “V/H/S”- (Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts and Studio 71) – The next generation of the horror anthology series, bringing four new frightening experiences to the palm of your hand. Scripted series launches Oct. 28.

Six additional series have already been greenlit for production.