Universal Partners With Wattpad to Take the Guesswork Out of TV Content Development

Storytelling platform provides cultural insights and data

With more than 300 million uploaded stories and the attention of 45 million people each month, Wattpad was already well-positioned to be a future leader in storytelling. Apparently, Universal Cable Productions thought so, too.

It was announced today that UCP, a division of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, will partner with Wattpad to develop original content across multiple categories—mystery/thriller, sci-fi, action and general fiction— that will "influence future television programming."

"Wattpad data will help spot compelling stories with massive built-in audiences, and fans will influence the development process," said Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios, in a statement. "There's no place for hunches and guesses when it comes to content development these days. Data- and community-driven entertainment is the future, and Wattpad Studios is leading the way."

Each month, about 2.3 million storytellers create culturally relevant stories on Wattpad. According to the release, Wattpad Studios can help entertainment executives "keep their finger on the pulse of pop culture and also reduce the guesswork involved during the traditional development process."

UCP's development roster includes projects from comedy masterminds Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, and Ian Roberts, the founders of the Upright Citizens Brigade.

"At UCP, we're always looking for ways to find untapped, unsigned talent and budding writers from around the U.S.," said Dawn Olmstead, evp of development for UCP. "Aron and his team manage a virtual fountain of story with great aplomb, and we're excited to dive into their content."

"[Wattpad is] an amazing global storytelling platform that not only allows us access to great stories, but also real-time data on what is trending, shared, reviewed and resonating with readers," she said.

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