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APOS: Singapore’s Mediacorp Unveils Wattpad, Vice Media Deals

Singapore’s state-backed Mediacorp has struck a trio of new content production deals. They span partnerships with new tech incubators and producers Wattpad and Vice Media, and a series production deal with Spackman Entertainment.

Mediacorp says that the trio of moves reflect an initiative to broaden its content ecosystem, explore fresh ideas and new approaches to content creation, and audience engagement. The deals were unveiled on the eve of APOS, the high-level summit conference that takes place in Indonesia this week.

Mediacorp and Wattpad aim to move Singaporean stories from the written word to the screen by sourcing projects from among the 565 million stories uploaded on Wattpad. They will use the company’s machine learning technology to identify appropriate concepts, audience insights and perspectives that could guide each project in the development process. In addition to sourcing existing stories from Wattpad, the companies will hold local contests that invite new story ideas from Singaporean writers.

Wattpad claims 22 million users within Asia and has development and production deals with Iflix in Indonesia and with Times Bridge in India.

Under the deal with youth brand Vice Media, Vice’s content will be offered on Mediacorp’s digital entertainment aggregator Toggle. Shows currently identified include “VICE Reports,” “The Cute Show,” and “10 Questions You Always Wanted To Ask,” alongside programming from global TV channel Viceland, iconic fashion title i-D, food channel Munchies, and technology channel Motherboard. In addition, Mediacorp will be the exclusive representative for all advertising sales in Singapore for VICE.com.

Other companies already linked to Toggle through the Mediacorp Partner Network include digital sports publisher ESPN, Singapore’s fastest growing property portal 99.co and luxury media group Edipresse.

Spackman Entertainment, a company with a Singapore share listing and a focus on Korean entertainment, will diversify from film into TV drama for the first time. With Mediacorp it will produce “The Equity of Love,” a 20-part romantic drama serial set within Singapore’s hotel industry. Production will begin this year, with broadcast expected in the second half of 2020. The series will include Korean and Mandarin soundtracks.

Spackman owns Korean production company Zip Cinema and investor Novus Mediacorp. It recently enjoyed success with finance crisis movie “Default” becoming a major box office hit in Korea.

Operating in four languages, Mediacorp is owned by Temasek Holdings, one of Singapore’s sovereign wealth funds. The group operates seven TV channels, 11 radio stations, and multiple digital platforms including Channel News Asia and Toggle, its digital video platform.

Mediacorp’s existing content partnerships include those with Hong Kong’s ViuTV on thriller “Blue Tick,” and Taiwan’s Eightgeman and Taiwan Television Enterprise on dual-action drama “All Is Well.” The show has parallel and plots playing out in concurrent series, one set in Taiwan and the other in Singapore.

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