NBC exec details network’s Snapchat content strategy

"The Rundown" is a weekly series that NBCUniversal produces on Snapchat. Image: NBCUniversal

NEW YORK—NBC has only recently begun partnering with and using Snapchat’s platform for original series and additions to ongoing shows. Thus far, it’s been a learning experience.

Ron Lamprecht, executive vice president of Business Development and Digital Distribution for NBCUniversal, was at the TV of Tomorrow conference to talk about NBC’s recent efforts around digital, including work with Snapchat and investments in BuzzFeed and Vox.

In particular, Lamprecht discussed Snapchat and how, while monetization on the platform remains a challenge, NBC is benefiting from its work with the ephemeral social media service so far.

“For now, there’s a huge opportunity in learning about programming for the platform,” Lamprecht said.

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NBC has been focused on creating both addition and show format content on Snapchat. Addition format content includes the Snapchat material NBC had BuzzFeed help it create for the 2016 Summer Olympics, while the show format for NBC includes its five-week run of a The Voice spinoff and The Rundown, a weekly series that runs for 48 hours straight.

“All of this did not exist even six months ago,” Lamprecht said.

Besides the new content that now exists for NBC, the network has also spun up teams to handle the production. Lamprecht said that The Rundown in particular has a dedicated production team operating out in Studio City that sometimes works alongside E!, a cable channel owned by NBCUniversal.

All of this content does not come cheap and takes “real effort,” according to Lamprecht. But while NBC waits for monetization to catch up, it’s viewing Snapchat as a good way to create new content and attach content to existing NBC IP that will reach a demo that may not be watching traditional linear TV.

Lamprecht said that in the past year, there’s been a noticeable change around digital and that NBC’s Snapchat work along with its BuzzFeed and Vox investments are good examples of the network trying to bet on digital. He added that NBC has the ad sales capability and scale, and that it wants to continue marrying that with new technologies and partners as NBC continues to learn about content creation for mobile devices.

“We’re sort of making this up together,” said Lamprecht. “There’s still a lot more to be learned.”