Wattpad has signed a first-look deal with Sony Television Pictures, the company announced Wednesday morning. The two companies will co-produce original programming for television, giving Sony a first-look at up-and-coming Wattpad stories.
Wattpad is a mobile app where users can write, post and read short, text-based novels. Readers can engage with the content by commenting on the novel or “liking” specific paragraphs. Using this data, the company can identify emerging trends within the platform — such as what type of content is being written about and engaged with the most — which it can then narrow to specific regions (i.e. what are readers in Indonesia or L.A. are most engaged with).
Using Wattpad’s Story DNA Machine Learning technology, the two companies will sift through the content to identify and develop popular narratives from the half a billion story uploads that have been shared on the platform into TV series.
“Our entertainment partners all over the world have seen the power of our data-backed approach to IP discovery and development,” Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios, said. “Wattpad stories are some of the most innovative and creative that have ever been written. The stories and diverse voices on Wattpad deserve to be heard all over the world. And our partnership with Sony does just that: bringing Wattpad stories to new and existing fans all over the planet.”
The deal follows the recent announcement that Wattpad, Sony Pictures Television, and Stampede are developing “Death Is My BFF” for SYFY. The series of stories from Katerina E. Tonks, which originated on Wattpad, has more than 62 million reads to date on the platform.
Launched in 2006, Wattpad has over 70 million monthly users and has received over $117 million in funding from investors including The Raine Group, Tencent Holdings, Peterson Group, Kick Start Ventures, and Golden Ventures.