CNN Launches a Daily Snapchat News Show to Reach a Younger Audience

The Update debuts a month after NBC News rolled out its own twice-daily program

CNN's The Update won't have a dedicated host, instead incorporating reporting from CNN’s anchors and correspondents. Photo Illustration: Dianna McDougall; Source: Getty Images
Headshot of Jason Lynch

Just one month ago, there weren’t any daily news shows on Snapchat. Now there are two competing programs on the platform, with CNN joining NBC News’ month-old Stay Tuned in rounding up the day’s biggest news for Snapchat’s young audiences.

CNN and Snap announced today that CNN will launch The Update, a daily Snapchat news show with a rundown of the biggest news from CNN’s reporters, anchors and bureaus. CNN will produce a new episode daily at 6 p.m. ET—with each episode featuring five or more stories, all in Snap’s vertical video format—as well as breaking news segments.

The Update won’t have a dedicated host, but will instead incorporate reporting from CNN’s anchors and correspondents.

“We are introducing our brilliant cast of world class anchors and reporters to a young audience in a smart, accessible way with The Update,” said Samantha Barry, CNN’s executive producer for social and emerging media, in a statement. “In today’s news environment, people are hungry for news and they want a quick update of where things are at within one tap of their phone. So, we’re serving that up, speaking their language and delivering it in beautiful, vertical, mobile-friendly video.”

The Update will be the home of CNN content on Snapchat Discover, with reporting curated by editorial and design teams. CNN was one of the original Snapchat Discover launch partners.

Added Sean Mills, Snapchat’s senior director of content programming, in a statement, “Since launching content on Snapchat, we have believed in the importance of giving our community access to accurate and authoritative news coverage, and CNN has played an important part in that from the beginning. It’s more critical than ever that Snapchatters have access to the best journalism in the world, right when news breaks, and we’re excited to watch CNN deliver that to them through The Update.”

The Update arrives almost exactly a month after NBC News launched Snapchat’s first daily news show, Stay Tuned. Episodes of Stay Tuned, which is hosted alternately by NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz and MSNBC News correspondent Savannah Sellers, air twice a day, at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., with special episodes covering breaking news.

Last Friday, Snap and NBC companies said that Stay Tuned had more than 29 million unique viewers in its first month, with more than 40 percent of viewers watching at least three days each week. Of course, Snap counts a video being opened as a view, regardless of how much content was actually watched, which differs from the average-viewer-per-minute ratings of linear TV.

More than 60 percent of the Stay Tuned audience is under the age of 25, which is rare for a news program.

Snapchat is looking to branch out into other genres, working with Turner and Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco to develop the first animated comedy show for the platform.

Over the past year, Snap has partnered with almost all major media companies to create exclusive, original content—usually between three and five minutes and shot vertically for the platform.

In May, Scripps Networks Interactive announced plans to produce shows from HGTV and Food Network for Snapchat. The company also has content deals with Discovery Communications, which is producing a Shark Week series, as well as CBS Interactive, Vice Media, A+E Networks, BBC Worldwide, Turner, Disney-ABC Television Group, Viacom and NBCUniversal.


@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.
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