Online writing community Wattpad is looking to monetise its content by selling stories to other entertainment businesses through the new Wattpad Studios division.
Wattpad Studios will operate like a multi-channel network, co-producing Wattpad stories for print, film, TV and digital platforms.
Aron Levitz, the former head of business development, has been promoted to lead the division, and will connect entertainment industry businesses with content created by ‘Wattpad Stars’ - writers who have already been singled out for marketing and publicity support.
“Wattpad deals exclusively in the one thing that powers the billion-dollar entertainment industry – original and compelling stories,” said Levitz. “As the largest and fastest-growing platform for stories, we can easily spot the voices that resonate with audiences around the world and the stories that have an established fan base. Wattpad Studios will help industry executives make smarter decisions, faster.”
Wattpad Studios will generate revenues for the company but Levitz told Publishers Weekly that the writers will keep the majority of the earnings.
The division has already developed partnerships with United Talent Agency, Paramount Pictures and TV5 Networks, and the company said some Wattpad stars have already earned seven-figure sums from the early work of Wattpad Studios, “with some writers making more money on Wattpad project than they would from a traditional book advance”.
Wattpad co-founder and c.e.o. Allen Lau said: “Entertainment and Wattpad stories go hand-in-hand. It’s why millions of people around the world spend 15 billion minutes a month on the platform. The launch of Wattpad Studios will not only extend the reach of Wattpad stories, but will also help shape the future of community and data-driven entertainment.”
Wattpad launched in 2009 and since then more than 250 stories have been uploaded to the platform by more than two million creators, the company claims.
Writers who have got publishing deals in the UK after using the site include Taran Matharu, whose fantasy YA trilogy Summoner was bought by Hodder Children’s Books, and Estelle Maskame, who signed a deal with Black & White.