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Snap, NBCUniversal form original content venture

© AFP/File | Original scripted shows made for Snapchat are set to debut on the social network as part of a joint venture with its parent Snap Inc and NBCUniversal

NEW YORK (AFP) - 

NBCUniversal and Snap Inc announced Tuesday a joint venture to produce original scripted shows for Snapchat, the social network popular with young audiences.

The two firms will hold equal stakes in a new digital content studio to be based in Santa Monica, California, that will make "made-for-mobile programming to primarily debut on Snapchat," a joint statement said.

The first content deal is with the Duplass Brothers, an independent production company known for films as well as the HBO series Room 104.

"NBCUniversal is proud to have been Snap's first partner to create Shows, and we've seen consistent audience growth and engagement on the platform," said Maggie Suniewick, president of NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises.

Sean Mills, head of original content for Snapchat parent Snap Inc, said the company sees scripted programming "as the next exciting chapter to dive into, and are thrilled to be charting this path with NBCUniversal, who have been amazing collaborators from the start."

Recent surveys have shown Snapchat -- known for its disappearing smartphone messages -- as the preferred social network for US teens, ahead of Facebook and Twitter.

While Snap has expanded its media partnerships, its user and revenue growth has been disappointing since its share offering earlier this year.

Last September, Snap launched a new format on its Discover platform that includes mobile TV-like content filmed for Snapchat, and it has added content to the service.

NBCUniversal, a unit of media-cable giant Comcast, made an investment of $500 million in Snap as part of its initial public offering.

© 2017 AFP