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Wattpad sets its sights on brands, publishers and Hollywood with Wattpad Studios

TechCrunch TechCrunch 26/04/2016 Anthony Ha

Wattpad, a popular site where authors can share stories with readers, is announcing its broader ambitions with the launch of a new division called Wattpad Studios.

The company describes Studios as a way for Wattpad to partner with the entertainment industry, and it said the new division will operate like the multi-channel networks that work with online video creators.

Wattpad Studios builds and includes a number of existing Wattpad initiatives. For example, the company launched a Wattpad Stars program last fall, which connects popular Wattpad writers with brands and publishers for paid work. And the TV5 Network in the Philippines worked with the Wattpad Presents program to create 200 episodes adapted from Wattpad stories.

As for making inroads into Hollywood specifically, Paramount Pictures acquired the rights to After by Anna Todd, which was a hit on Wattpad, and the company has also partnered with the high-powered agency UTA.

Aron Levitz, who previously launched Wattpad’s native ads, will be leading the new division.

“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,” Levitz said in the announcement release. “Wattpad Studios will help industry executives make smarter decisions, faster.”

In addition to Wattpad Stars (which the company says will be “the engine of Wattpad Studios”) and Wattpad Presents, the Studios division will include Wattpad Words for publishers and Wattpad Insights, which identifies the type of stories that are trending on Wattpad.

Wattpad says it reaches an audience of 45 million people every month, with nearly 250 million stories uploaded.

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