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December 24, 2017

CNN cancels its Snapchat-specific show ‘The Update’ after just 4 months

by John_A

It seems like just yesterday that CNN launched its own Snapchat-specific show. The Update was barely four months old, but apparently, four months was all CNN needed to decide that the show needed an update of its own — or rather, a permanent downgrade.

That’s right, friends — as originally reported by the Wall Street Journal, CNN has canceled its daily bite-sized news show on the social media platform “after coming to the realization there wasn’t a clear enough path to make money,” according to WSJ’s sources. This might herald some concerning news for Snapchat as a whole, as CNN was one of the company’s launch partners for its Discover media platform, offering the TV-style show to news-hungry Snapchat users. But perhaps the problem is that such a demographic…doesn’t really exist.

The decision to end the program may come as a surprise to some, as The Update initially appeared to be quite a popular idea. Upon launch, Snapchat’s senior director of content programming said in a statement, “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.”

And as Mashable noted, the show seemed to have its fans — for example, AdWeek called CNN one of the “hottest” online publishers, noting in particular its mastery of various media forms, including Snapchat.

Alas, all this praise seems to have been for naught.

“Snap and CNN have built a great partnership over the years and our teams have enormous admiration for each other,” the two companies confirmed in a joint statement. “We plan to keep working together and mutually decided to hit pause as we explore the best opportunities for doing that.”

While CNN may not have been able to make its made-for-Snapchat show work, not all networks appear to be having the same problem. NBC, for example, has its own Stay Tuned show on the air at Snapchat, and back in September, claimed to have 30 million monthly views. ESPN is also betting on Snapchat, creating a more youthfully-targeted version of its perennially popular SportsCenter for the app. And even though CNN is pulling the plug on its original show, the network says that it will “continue to experiment on Snapchat.”

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