Vice, a millennial-focused digital media company, has partnered with the online dating service Match.com to produce an 8-episode weekly Snapchat show, Adweek reported. "Hungry Hearts" will follow couples going on first dates planned by the rapper Action Bronson, who also hosts a foodie show on the Viceland network called "F*ck, That's Delicious." Vice and Snapchat first announced the show six months ago.
Midway through each show, Bronson will provide commentary on how the date is going. At the end of each episode, he predicts if the couple will go on another date. The premiere episode shows Bronson sending a couple to a sausage and peppers truck in Queens, New York.
Match.com is the presenting sponsor of the series, which appears on Snapchat's Discover platform for publishers. Smartphone users can subscribe to the show in the Snapchat mobile app.
A mash-up of "Love Connection" and the type of reality show one might find on networks like MTV or E!, "Hungry Hearts" isn't a wholly original idea but one that might be able to connect with its young target audience given the popularity of this type of content on traditional TV. Bronson, for his part, has become a major personality for Vice, evolving "F*ck, That's Delicious" from a digital video series into a full-fledged cable show. Vice Media, which recently cut 2% of its staff to focus more on video production, is likely hoping to replicate that level of success with the new offering.
Snapchat is emerging as a delivery platform for professionally produced content geared for young adults, the core audience for Vice Media. Snapchat's audience growth has stalled, but the company can still try to keep its users engaged with a mix of chatting with friends, image-sharing, magazine content and video programming. EMarketer last week estimated Snapchat will grow its audience by 25.8% this year to 79.2 million monthly users, in line with the company's estimates. Parent company Snap's stock closed at $14.51 a share yesterday, down 18% from the IPO price in March.
As part of its effort to provide original programming geared for young adults, Snapchat this week announced a partnership with Barstool Sports, a raunchy sports and men's lifestyle website, to produce a weekly show called "Barstool U" focused on college football. These and other efforts to promote premium video on the platform come at the same time Facebook is launching a similar Watch tab for premium video. Twitter is also eyeing more original shows for its service as video commands more time spent with mobile devices, especially among younger users.