Last week a new show from Viceland and Match.com premiered on Snapchat. That's right, a new TV show has premiered on a messaging platform. This is the world we're living in now.
The very definition of television has changed in the last few years. What used to be defined as a box in your living room, is now defined much more broadly. With the rise of Netflix and other video platforms on the web it became less clear as to what TV was and what it wasn't. Now, basically any sort of audio visual content that you can access can be defined as TV -- unless it's a movie.
More and more it is expected that we are going to see TV on web first platforms. Not only in the way that Netflix does TV, which almost exactly resembles traditional TV, but also in new ways that are not like traditional TV. Hungry Hearts with Action Bronson is one of those shows from the second category.
The show, starring Viceland staple, rapper, and celebrity chef Action Bronson, centers on couples set up by Bronson and sent on untraditional dates. Rather than dinner and a movie, think sausages in a graveyard. The series premiered on August 30th on Snapchat. Everything about this show, from concept to platform indicates it is directed at a particular target audience: Millennials.
This show is clearly produced for young viewers and 'broadcast' to them on a platform that they use more than the traditional TV. Additionally, this platform is one in which you can't sell advertising for your show in the traditional way. To get around this, Viceland has sold overall sponsorship of the show to Match.com, a good fit considering it is a dating show. As TV moves over to the web where mid-roll ads are not effective, producers are going to need to find new ways, like overall sponsorship and product placement, to create revenue from their programming.
What does this mean for you?
At the most basic level this shows us how much video has penetrated all social platforms. It is easy to see that video is the lingua franca of the web, and the more that people are exposed to video, the more demand there is for high-quality content across all of these platforms. This means that there are more people and companies who will want to pay you for your video content. It used to be that there were three (or one depending on what country you are from) channels and if you wanted to make a show for television your chances were very slim of ever producing anything for broadcast. Now, in addition to the hundreds of channels now on cable and satellite, the Internet has expanded the number of channels to basically infinity.
If you want to make content for TV (or the Internet as it is basically) there is nothing stopping you from producing something and putting it on a platform. If you look at Hungry Hearts, you will notice that you could probably produce something of the same caliber and quality with your iPhone. Your version may not be sponsored by Match.com, but you can certainly put it on Snapchat, or Facebook and if it is well shot and has a compelling story that drives viewership, it won't be long until that leads to the next opportunity.