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Snap teams with NBCUniversal in drive for TV shows on Snapchat

  • Snap is partnering with NBCUniversal to create a digital content studio that makes original shows to debut on Snapchat.
  • Donut Studios co-founders Mark and Jay Duplass are also set to join the venture.
  • The move signals Snap's entry into a market dominated by firms such as Netflix and Amazon.
Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, founders of Snapchat.
J. Emilio Flores | Corbis | Getty Images
Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, founders of Snapchat.

Snap just made a major move to compete with Netflix and Amazon.

The social media company is partnering with NBCUniversal to create a digital content studio that makes original shows to debut on its Snapchat platform.

NBCUniversal, which already owns a stake in Snap, said it wants to take mobile TV programs "to the next level."

"As mobile audiences continue to grow, we're excited to expand the type of content we can develop," NBCUniversal's Lauren Anderson said Tuesday.

NBCUniversal has appointed Anderson to head the project as chief content officer. The executive, who previously was the broadcaster's senior vice president of primetime programming, developed and oversaw shows such as "Parks and Recreation" and "The Office."

"By combining the best-in-class creative expertise of NBCUniversal with the broad digital reach of Snapchat, we have the unique ability to take mobile programming to the next level, creating compelling shows for both viewers and advertisers," Anderson said.

Donut Studios co-founders Mark and Jay Duplass are also set to join the venture. The brothers are the brains behind HBO's comedy series "Togetherness" and the Netflix drama film "Blue Jay."

The logo of Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal Media LLC during the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) Cable Show in Washington, D.C., on June 11, 2013.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The logo of Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal Media LLC during the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) Cable Show in Washington, D.C., on June 11, 2013.

"For us, shooting in that vertical mobile format is a terrifying and thrilling creative challenge," Mark Duplass said.

Tough year for Snap

Snap's stock price has had a rough year.

After debuting on the New York Stock Exchange in early 2017, Snapchat's parent has faced disappointing earnings results and a decline in users.

Since March, the stock has gone from an all-time high of $29.44 to as low as $13.10 in July. Shares of the Snap were at $16.26 in premarket trading Tuesday.

NBCUniversal, CNBC's parent company, was a participant in Snap's initial public offering, investing $500 million in the U.S.-based start-up.

Last September, Snap launched an initiative called "Shows" for its Discover platform, to release mobile TV-like content on Snapchat. The U.S. broadcaster was Snap's first partner for the programming.

Sean Mills, head of original content for Snap, said the company was "thrilled" with the closer collaboration with NBCUniversal, and said NBCUniversal has been "amazing collaborators from the start."

The move signals entry into a market dominated by firms such as Netflix and Amazon, both of which produce original TV content.

And a Facebook TV platform is on the horizon. Reports last month said the social media giant could spend as much as $1 billion on original TV content.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Snap.