Wattpad, the global multiplatform company for original stories, and Viu, a leading pan-regional OTT video service from PCCW Media Group, today announced a collaboration to develop Viu Original series and film projects based on Wattpad stories.
Viu, known for providing premium Asian content, is committed to creating content assets through its growing slate of Viu Original. Through the collaboration, Viu will work with Wattpad to develop youth-oriented shows across its markets. The companies will leverage Wattpad’s Story DNA Machine Learning technology to identify exceptional stories and guide the development process.
Known for its massive and diverse library of stories that have captivated readers everywhere, Wattpad has become the go-to place for global entertainment companies to find hit projects for young adult audiences. Anna Todd’s international sensation After accumulated a billion reads on Wattpad before becoming a bestselling book and hit film. In spring 2019, the After film opened number one in 17 countries, going on to become the highest-grossing independent film so far for 2019 and winning three Teen Choice Awards.
Viu operates across 17 markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, India, and South Africa with Viu-ers spending an average 1.2 to 1.8 hours daily on the platform. Wattpad has a global community of 80 million users, including more than 22 million users across the Asia Pacific region, who spend billions of minutes on the platform every month. Ninety percent of Wattpad’s users are Gen Z or Millennials.
Helen Sou, Senior Vice President, Digital Media, PCCW Media Group, said, “All over the world, millions of young people spend billions of minutes reading and writing every genre imaginable on Wattpad. We will continue to invest in original content to develop a sustainable ecosystem with local creators and providing them with a platform for their content. Wattpad has its finger on the pulse of youth culture, and with this collaboration we are able to enable the youth to connect global audiences on Viu’s engaged base.”
Ari Kader-Cu, Country Manager, Viu Philippines, said, “Gen Z and Millennials are zealous consumers of online content. We know that young Viu-ers are not only listening to pop music and watching teen drama, they are also making their own stories and reading other young writers’ stories on Wattpad. So we collaborate with Wattpad to transform these stories that they love into another format not only to reach audiences who primarily consume video content but also to celebrate the stories that the youth create.”
Allen Lau, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Wattpad, said, “Viu is a leader in bringing diverse, high-quality entertainment to audiences, while also creating new models for people to experience great storytelling. Viu knows what people love to watch, and its forward-looking approach is what makes it an ideal partner for Wattpad. We are thrilled to work with Viu to bring more Wattpad stories to screens around the world.”
Dexter Ong, Head of Asia, Wattpad Studios, said, “Our message to the global entertainment industry is simple: great storytelling spans borders, languages and genres. Viu understands the massive opportunities for tapping into global storytelling trends and bringing them to life in new formats.”
Viu has been expanding its originals output over recent years, with successful productions such as adaptation of global phenomenon, The Bridge, which is available on HBO Asia’s channels and services throughout Asia, and experimental regional format, No Sleep, No FOMO, the success of which has resulted in a new tie-up with Discovery to reach a wider audience. Viu plans to have over 80 scripted and non-scripted Viu Original titles this year.
Viu is the latest international entertainment company to strike a deal with Wattpad. Some of Wattpad’s other partners include Sony Pictures Television, Mediacorp, and Huayi Brothers Korea.