CNN is canceling The Update, a daily show on Snapchat that premiered in August and covered hard news with breaking updates throughout the day.
CNN was a launch partner in 2015 for Snapchat Discover, Snap’s network of media partners including Mashable, and is one of the most internationally recognized names in media.
WSJ first reported the news.
As Snapchat looks to grow, CNN provides a name that is recognized internationally and by consumers young and old.
“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,” Sean Mills, senior director of content programming for Snapchat, said in a statement at the time of the launch.
The Update had its fans, for sure. AdWeek named CNN one of the “hottest” publishers on the internet, citing its work on Snapchat.
Today’s CNN Snapchat Discover “The Update” is excellent.
— Maya Ninel (@mayaninel) September 16, 2017
CNN’s new The Update on Snapchat Discover is the best news roundup out there right now. Captivating, informative, and mobile-af. Sooo good.
— Daniel Sinclair (@_DanielSinclair) August 30, 2017
But the show just wasn’t worth it for CNN. One of the reasons it cancelled the show was “there wasn’t a clear enough path to make money,” people familiar with the matter told WSJ. Previously, Snap offered CNN and other media companies licensing fees, but Snap is looking to change that program and instead require partners to fund their own ventures. Discover partners make a cut from ads in their channels.
Advertising is how other publishers have made millions per year off of their channels.
“What Snapchat did well is it curated a place where a publisher’s brand could live and it created an ad model that can pay,” Troy Young, president of Hearst Digital Media, told the New York Times in May. Hearst hosts Snapchat versions of Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and Popular Mechanics on Discover.
Apparently, CNN did not see enough return on this type of investment.
Snap and CNN released a joint statement that categorized CNN’s decision as a “pause” rather than a complete break with Snapchat.
“Snap and CNN have built a great partnership over the years and our teams have enormous admiration for each other. We plan to keep working together and mutually decided to hit pause as we explore the best opportunities for doing that. Our relationship will very much be continuing,” the statement reads.
What that relationship will be is to be determined. In the meantime, CNN journalists could still use Snapchat and contribute to Our Stories, curations of snaps on breaking news.
Of course, CNN isn’t Snapchat’s only news partner. NBC runs a daily show called Stay Tuned. It launched the month prior to CNN’s and is still running twice daily. According to NBC’s latest numbers, the show captures tens of millions of unique viewers per month. The majority of viewers watch the show without skipping.
While CNN’s name and The Update may have attempted to appeal to an older audience, Snapchat’s overall audience is still very young. More than two-thirds of NBC’s audience for Stayed Tuned is under the age of 25, for example.