If Wattpad Studios succeeds, it will usher in a new model that gives amateur writers a chance at the lucrative business of influence.
On TuesdayWattpadannounced Wattpad Studios, which will develop its storiesfor various media outlets like a multi-channel network. And just like an MCN works with the best and brightest digital video stars, Wattpad Studios will do the same for its homegrown writing talent.
Aron Levitz will head the division. Hes had experience as Wattpads head of business development. The company previously launched the advertising projectWattpad Brand Stories, which has partnered with projects like The Fault in Our Stars and The Purge: Anarchy. Wattpad also championed homegrown talent under Levitzs watch with the Wattpad Stars program, which helped talent access paid and promotional gigs. A studios arm seems a natural extension of both.
Wattpad deals exclusively in the one thing that powers the billion-dollar entertainment industryoriginal and compelling stories, said Head of Wattpad Studios Aron Levitz in a press release. 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. Wattpad Studios will help industry executives make smarter decisions, faster.
Wattpad also released itsown anthology of Imagine stories, self-insert fiction about famous celebrities.
But the real silver bullet is the companys growing user base, which boasts 250 million original story uploads from 2 million creators, and data-driven insights into which stories compel that base. The entertainment industry develops projects with hopes of a story inspiring an audience, but Wattpad knows if that audience is already inspired. Thats why book-to-film projects proliferateand Wattpad can simply skip the book step.
The goal, of course, is to help champion creators. Studios will create more paths to monetization for talented writers, Wattpad posits, and points to the fact that some of its top writers make more money working on a Wattpad project than from a traditional book advance.
The influencer game is dominated by faces, by creators who work in the visual medium, and who share their own personal lives and identities to help drive up a brand and make money. Wattpad Studios thinks its writing talent can join that herd.
Illustration via Max Fleishman (Licensed)