In a move that Nellie Andreeva, writing on Deadline.com, says underscores “the complicated relationship between the tech world and traditional entertainment,” the video messaging firm Snapchat appears to have decided not to move into original content after all.
The company has decided to “shut down its Snap Channel permanently, leading to the departure of a number of employees, including Marcus Wiley, Head of Program Planning and Development,” Andreeva writes.
Snap Channel, which got rolling back in January, was the umbrella for Snapchat’s move into original programming.
“The fast-growing social network made a statement about its ambitions in the arena with the May hire of former Fox SVP Comedy Wiley as programming head,” the story notes. “A team of about 15 people was assembled with the goal to develop and produce content for Snap Channel on the Discovery platform, primarily shortform narrative/musical series — some of them experimental.”
The company pulled Snap Channel off the Discover platform a couple of weeks ago, but at the time it was expected to be relaunched.
“Wiley and his team had been tasked with creating the backbone of programming for Snap Channel 2.0, which they had been doing with the company’s blessing,” Andreeva notes. “But upon careful examination of what that would entail money-wise, that plan has been scrapped, with Snapchat hitting pause on its original programming efforts via Snap Channel and re-examining its overall original content strategy.”
In a statement provided to Deadline, Snapchat said of Wiley: “Given that we are winding down the Snap Channel, it’s natural that Marcus would want to explore other opportunities. He is a tremendous talent, and we wish him well.”