Multi-territory Asian video streaming service Viu has struck an original content deal with tech-driven story firm Wattpad. Together they aim to develop film and TV series under the Viu Original label.
Canada-based Wattpad hosts a vast library of user-generated stories, with a claimed user base of 80 million, including 22 million in the Asia Pacific region. Some stories have been developed into films, with Anna Todd’s “After” the best-known example. It accumulated a billion online views on Wattpad before being adapted into a film, directed by Jenny Gage, that with a $69.5 million global box office is one of the highest grossing indie movies of this year.
Other companies in Asia that have struck similar deals with Wattpad include Sony Pictures Television, Mediacorp, and Huayi Brothers Korea.
“Wattpad has its finger on the pulse of youth culture, and with this collaboration we are able to enable the youth to connect global audiences on Viu’s engaged base,” said Helen Sou, senior VP, digital media, at Viu’s parent company PCCW Media. Viu, which primarily focuses on premium Asian content, operates across 17 markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, India, and South Africa.
Viu productions include an adaptation of global phenomenon, “The Bridge,” which is available on HBO Asia’s channels and services throughout Asia, and experimental regional format, “No Sleep, No FOMO.” Viu plans to have over 80 scripted and non-scripted Viu Original titles this year.
PCCW owns Hong Kong’s leading pay-TV service NowTV, a recently-launched free to air channel and is the territory’s leading fixed line phone operator. It also owns a minority stake in STX Entertainment.