Toronto-based Wattpad has partnered with publishing company Hachette Book Group to launch Hachette Audiobooks: Powered by Wattpad.
Together, Wattpad and Hatchett Book Group will turn 50 popular Wattpad stories into audiobooks, which will be available in summer 2017. Initially, the stories-turned-audiobooks will span a wide variety of genres and will be sold digitally through major online retailers, including iTunes, Bandcamp, Barnes & Noble, Downpour, and eStories. Physical audiobooks on CD will also be made available for libraries and on-demand for other interested parties.
“We love seeing the worlds and characters Wattpad storytellers create come to life in different ways. The Hachette Audiobooks: Powered by Wattpad partnership gives the stars of the Wattpad community a unique chance to have their stories narrated by skilled actors and distributed to people beyond the Wattpad platform,” said Ashleigh Gardner, the head of partnerships at Wattpad Studios. “Wattpad stories have been successfully produced as books, television shows, and movies. Now, people will not only be able to read and watch Wattpad stories, but also listen to them. ”
This partnership is the company’s latest effort to bring Wattpad stories to a wider audience beyond print. Since its launch, Wattpad has embraced many changes to expand its content’s reach through divisions like Wattpad Brands, which allows brands to connect with the Wattpad community through brand pages, and Wattpad Studios, which focuses on partnering with the entertainment industry to co-produce Wattpad stories adapted to print, film, and television. So far, the company has partnered with major networks like Universal Cable Productions, a division of NBCUniversal, and the TV5 Network in the Philippines. TV5 has produced 200 episodes representing 40 Wattpad stories.
When Wattpad celebrated its 10-year milestone, CEO Allen Lau said that Wattpad’s focus leveraging its extensive community to becoming a full-stack entertainment company.