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Naver Webtoon aims to lead global content market with Wattpad

Poster of the upcoming Netflix movie “Through my Window”, an adaptation of a 2016 Wattpad novel that recorded 2.9 million views
Poster of the upcoming Netflix movie “Through my Window”, an adaptation of a 2016 Wattpad novel that recorded 2.9 million views
The Korean digital comics platform Naver Webtoon plans to fortify its foothold in the North American and ASEAN video content market, capitalizing on an extended IP value chain that now encompasses web novel giant Wattpad and the recently launched Wattpad Webtoon Studios.

While Naver Webtoon has long developed expertise in adapting Korean webtoons into films, teaming up with Wattpad is expected to expand its presence to the web novel sector. Wattpad, North America’s largest web novel platform, reports 94 million users of which 80 percent are from Generation Z.

“Wattpad is serviced in 50 different languages, with a strong foothold in North America and the ASEAN region,” said an industry watcher. Hit movies including “The Kissing Booth” (2018) and “After” (2019) are both film adaptations of Wattpad web novels.

In line with the company’s ambitious plans to establish a global IP value chain, Wattpad Webtoon Studios also forged a partnership with Viacom International Studios, a global content production, and distribution studio, on Jan. 9.

“Our company plans to create myriad new stories that will make hits on the screen for 100 years onward,” said Aron Levitz, president of Wattpad Webtoon Studios. “We will break down all barriers left in the entertainment industry, and engage fans worldwide through our IP development.”

By Ahn Ju-hee (dianahn@heraldcorp.com)

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