Sony Pictures Television is turning to the online storytelling community of Wattpad as its searches for its next breakout entertainment property.
The deal will give Sony a first-look option for up and coming Wattpad stories, as it looks for new ways to snag the next movie or TV hit that has already built up a fan base via the platform.
To date, Wattpad has already seen hundreds of titles turned into Netflix movies or TV shows for Hulu, as well as other projects for studios in the US and worldwide. The platform will now work with Sony to help it identify popular stories on its platform from the half a billion uploads it has seen to date.
The company uses its ‘Story DNA’ machine learning technology, as well as human curation, to identify the most promising IP and storytellers on Wattpad.
Wattpad has an online community of more than 70 million monthly users, who spend over 22 billion minutes engaged with its original stories uploaded to its site.
The platform already works with a range of entertainment partners worldwide, including eOne and SYFY and has turned its stories into projects at Universal Cable Productions, Hulu, Netflix and more.
“Our entertainment partners all over the world have seen the power of our data-backed approach to IP discovery and development,” said Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios, in a statement.
“Wattpad stories are some of the most innovative and creative that have ever been written. The stories and diverse voices on Wattpad deserve to be heard all over the world. And our partnership with Sony does just that: bringing Wattpad stories to new and existing fans all over the planet.”
The Sony deal will be overseen by Eric Lehrman, Wattpad’s head of Content Development and Production.