LOS ANGELES â The future of fan fiction is apparently linear TV.
Wattpad, an online community of readers and writers, announced Tuesday that has partnered with Universal Cable Productions (UCP), a division of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.
Under the new deal, UCP will produce a number of television projects derived from Wattpad content across multiple categories including: mystery/thriller, teen, science fiction, action and general fiction.
âWattpad data will help spot compelling stories with massive built-in audiences, and fans will influence the development process,â head of Wattpad Studios Aron Levitz said in a statement. âThereâs no place for hunches and guesses when it comes to content development these days. Data- and community-driven entertainment is the future, and Wattpad Studios is leading the way.â
“Thereâs no place for hunches and guesses when it comes to content development these days”
Founded in 2006, the Toronto-based Wattpad has raised $66.8 million in funding from investors such as August Capital and Golden Venture Partners.
The platform, which has more than 300 million uploaded stories and about 45 million monthly visitors, has been building relationships with Hollywood for the last year.
In June, the website kicked off a development partnership with broadcast giant Turner.
Before that, Wattpad partnered with major players in entertainment, including United Talent Agency, Paramount Pictures and TV5 Networks (a Filipino commercial television network).
Studios including 20th Century Fox and Universal have even utilized Wattpad to promote some of their biggest films, including Fox’s The Fault in Our Stars and Universal’s The Purge: Anarchy.
Traditional stars such as musician Zayn Malik and digital stars such as Grace Helbig have also utilized the platform to promote their books.
But the UCP deal marks the biggest one yet, given that the NBCUniversal division has ties to A-list comedians including Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and the founders of the Upright Citizens Brigade.
Programming from UCP includes Mr. Robot, Suits, The Magicians, The Royals and Difficult People.
âAt UCP weâre always looking for ways to find untapped, unsigned, talent and budding writers from around the U.S. and world,â said Dawn Olmstead, executive vice president of development for Universal Cable Productions. âEnter Wattpad â an amazing global storytelling platform that not only allows us access to great stories, but also real time data on what is trending, shared, reviewed and resonating with readers.”