Wattpad, the storytelling hub where a legion of up-and-coming writers share their tales, has signed a deal with Sony Pictures Television to develop some of its most popular stories into TV series.
The duo’s deal involves Wattpad giving Sony a first look at new stories garnering serious engagement on the platform. To determine what’s catching users’ attention, Wattpad will use its in-house technology, called ‘Story DNA Machine Learning,’ which identifies stories and writers with “exceptional potential,” Wattpad said in a statement. The overall process is part of something Wattpad calls “data-to-development.”
“Our entertainment partners all over the world have seen the power of our data-backed approach to intellectual property discovery and development,” Aron Levitz, head of the company’s film and TV development arm Wattpad Studios, said in a statement. “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.”
Previous shows to emerge from Wattpad’s trove include AwesomenessTV and Hulu’s Light as a Feather (recently renewed for a 16-episode second season) and Turner Broadcasting’s upcoming Tales from the Crypt, a reboot of the cult show helmed by M. Night Shyamalan and featuring creepy stories from Wattpad’s writers.
This partnership comes on the heels of Wattpad and Sony’s announcement that they, along with content creation company Stampede Ventures, are developing Death is my BFF, written by Wattpad author Katerina E. Tonks, into a series for Syfy. On Wattpad, Death is my BFF has 62 million reads.
Wattpad Studios’ other development partners include Tongal, CW Seed, Universal Cable Productions, eOne, Hachette Romans, and HarperCollins Children’s Books.