Toronto social publishing platform Wattpad has partnered with Ted Turner’s TNT and TBS (Turner Network Television and Turner Broadcasting System) to adapt the works of its 45 million writers of fan fiction for executive producer M. Night Shyamalan’s Tales From The Crypt TV show, scheduled to premiere in 2017, as well as for the networks’ digital and mobile platforms.
Turner’s networks, under the agreement, will have access to Wattpad’s data and analytics to better source writers, encouraging users to submit via contests and other means, and then using Wattpad to identify trends that will help effectively populate Tales From The Crypt with content.
TBS and TNT’s development teams will leverage Wattpad’s data analytics insights and feedback mechanisms to share story ideas with the Wattpad user community before developing them for the show.
“Our partnership with Wattpad is a perfect intersection of content and fan engagement, where fans actually have the chance to directly influence and, in some cases even have their material optioned and developed by our networks,” said Justin Williams, senior vice president of digital ventures for TNT and TBS. “We’re especially excited to kick off our collaboration with a focus on TNT’s Tales from the Crypt horror block, which will tap into Wattpad’s strength in the horror genre.”
Wattpad only launched Wattpad Studios in April, the company’s multi-channel network for co-producing stories for print, film, television, and digital platforms with strategic media partners, helmed by former head of business development Aron Levitz.
“There are many ways we can help the entertainment industry zero-in on new voices and stories with massive, built-in fan-bases. Through our partnership with Turner, Wattpad’s powerful insights, roster of influential writers, and hyper-engaged community of fans will help define the new scary,” said Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios. “The eagerly-anticipated Tales from the Crypt horror block marks the future of television where leading networks source content from fans and build programming together with the audience.”
United Talent Agency, Wattpad’s partner in the entertainment space, represented Wattpad on the Turner deal.
Founded in 2006, Wattpad has gone on to become the world’s largest social publishing platform with more than two million content creators having uploaded 250 million original stories for an audience of more than 40 million regular Wattpad users, 95% of whom are under 30 years of age.
In 2014, Wattpad partnered with Philippines-based Kapatid Network, produced by TV5, on Wattpad Presents, a prime-time daily drama, which serialized 40 Wattpad stories into 200 television episodes.
With a $17.3 million investment from Khosla Ventures in 2012, followed by an endorsement from Margaret Atwood in 2013, Wattpad has achieved a momentum that has legitimized it as a social networking hub for self-publishers, and now a media partner for established networks and programming producers.
To date, Wattpad has raised approximately $66.8 million in venture capital funding, from investors including August Capital, Golden Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, Northleaf Capital Partners, OMERS Ventures, Raine Ventures, Union Square Ventures and W Media Ventures.