Following Naver's $600 million acquisition of Wattpad earlier this year, Wattpad and Naver's Webtoon are merging their film and television production studios under the name Wattpad Webtoon Studios. Aron Levitz, who previously oversaw Wattpad Studios, will serve as president of combined group.
"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," said Ashleigh Gardner, deputy general manager for publishing of Wattpad Webtoon Studios. "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."
Naver is supporting the new studio with an investment of $100 million in content development and production financing. The studio will use data to determine the most popular stories and attempt to ascertain their potential for success in the broader marketplace as TV shows, films or books.
"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, to adapt stories for new formats and audiences.