On May 10th, 2021, Wattpad, the global multiplatform entertainment company for writing and original stories, was acquired by Naver, South Korea’s internet conglomerate. Naver also owns South Korea-based Webtoon, a digital comic site.
According to Publisher’s Weekly, following this $600 million acquisition, Wattpad and Webtoon will be merging their film and television production studios under the name Wattpad Webtoon Studios.
New parent company Naver will be supporting this new venture with an investment of $100 million in content development and production financing. The studio will use data from Wattpad and Webtoons to determine the potential for success in the broader market of the most popular stories on the platforms allowing their users to get a shot at author stardom.
Ashleigh Gardner, the deputy general manager for publishing of the new studio, said, “One of the best things about Wattpad Webtoon Studios is that we’re format-agnostic, we have incredible IP with built-in fans in every genre and stories that already travel across borders. We have access to some of the biggest libraries of stories and digital comics on the planet, with stories in every genre you can imagine.”
“This commitment reflects Naver’s confidence in our team’s ability to create incredible books and industry-leading entertainment that fans will love in any format,” Gardner said, adding that the formation of the studio and investment will enable Wattpad to move faster and adapt stories for new formats and audiences.