Wattpad merges studio division with American subsidiary of Naver's web cartoon wing

By Lim Chang-won Posted : June 24, 2021, 17:07 Updated : June 24, 2021, 17:07

[Courtesy of Naver]

SEOUL -- Wattpad, a Canada-based website and app for writers to publish new user-generated stories, will merge its studio division with WEBTOON, the American subsidiary of Naver's web cartoon wing, to strengthens the parent company's global leadership in intellectual property, digital comics and web novels.

Naver, a top web portal service operator and IT company in South Korea, took over Wattpad to strengthen and diversify its content service targetting the global market. A $100 million fund will be invested into the integrated entity called "Wattpad WEBTOON Studios" for development and production financing.

Web cartoons are digital comic books created to fit into web or mobile platforms. South Korea is the birthplace of web cartoons, with its digital comic books gaining popularity abroad. Popular digital comics have been recreated into various content including games, TV dramas and films.

The integrated studio brings hundreds of millions of new stories and diverse voices to the global entertainment and publishing market, along with an unmatched ability to find and develop hit franchises for local or international audiences, Wattpad and WEBTOON said in a joint statement.

"We're bringing a new era of diverse voices and incredible IP to audiences and an industry looking for both," said Wattpad WEBTOON Studios head Aron Levitz. "Businesses are spending billions of dollars to capture the last 100 years of IP. We're looking to the future, with hundreds of millions of new stories to power the next 100 years of hits on screens and bookshelves."

WEBTOON CEO Kim Jun-koo said the combined studio would "knock down every remaining border in entertainment." "Combining local market expertise and audience data, Wattpad WEBTOON Studios can create local hits with regional partners or develop with a global audience in mind."
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