ViacomCBS International Studios and Wattpad WEBTOON Studios, the fan-driven global entertainment and publishing arm for WEBTOON and Wattpad, today announced a new global partnership to source emerging content and creatives from around the world to develop a slate of original series based on hit Wattpad and WEBTOON stories.
Under the deal, the studios will work together to identify stories from Wattpad and WEBTOON’s global IP libraries of digital comics and stories. Wattpad WEBTOON Studios and ViacomCBS International Studios’ production arm, VIS, will co-produce content for ViacomCBS’ networks and platforms, including its global premium streaming service Paramount+.
Through this partnership, ViacomCBS International Studios will gain access to data-backed insights and top IP from WEBTOON’s global catalog of mega-hit digital comics and novels from diverse indie authors on Wattpad. With Wattpad WEBTOON Studios’ audience geography and sentiment insights, the companies will identify local and regional hits with global appeal, spanning Latin America, Europe, the U.K. and other international markets.
To date, VIS has announced more than 30 Paramount+ Original greenlights to fuel the streamer as it continues its global rollout, with its European expansion set for 2022. The deal positions VIS to develop IP spanning a range of genres with built-in Gen Z and Millennial global fandoms.
“ViacomCBS International Studios is committed to telling authentic, local stories from emerging creatives from all corners of the world, and through this mission, we’ve expanded to become one of the leading creators of content globally,” said Ari Tan, Vice President, Head of Strategy, ViacomCBS International Studios. “Now through our partnership with Wattpad WEBTOON Studios, we’ll have the opportunity to use this exciting, data-driven approach to inform our storytelling and amplify new creative talents through our global platforms.”
“Wattpad WEBTOON Studios is home to some of the most exciting new voices in comics and literature,” said Aron Levitz, President of Wattpad WEBTOON Studios. “Between our massive global IP catalog with built-in fandoms, and a roster of superstar comic artists and indie authors, we’re fueling a new era of data-backed entertainment. We’re thrilled to work with ViacomCBS International Studios, a company that shares our vision to transform entertainment by elevating the creativity and fandoms of a new generation of storytellers. Working together with ViacomCBS International Studios, we’ll bring more diverse, original voices to screens all over the world.”
The deal is the first major global partnership from Wattpad WEBTOON Studios since merging the entertainment and publishing divisions from WEBTOON and Wattpad in June 2021, bringing together the 166 million fans from each platform, along with massive catalogs of new IP.
Wattpad WEBTOON Studios continues to grow its footprint in Hollywood and international entertainment markets, with more than 100 projects in development or production around the world, and a growing number of hits on screens. The company recently wrapped production on a film adaptation of Float, based on Kate Marchant’s hit Wattpad romance of the same name. Wattpad WEBTOON Studios is producing the project alongside Lionsgate, Collective Pictures, and Brightlight Pictures.