Iflix, Wattpad to Produce "Dozens of Original Movies" for Indonesia

iflix CEO Mark Britt - H 2017
Courtesy of iflix

The partners say they will use machine learning to identify which user-generated Indonesian stories on Wattpad's platform to develop into films.

Streaming video service iflix has inked a deal with Canadian storytelling platform Wattpad to co-produce a large slate of original films for Indonesia, where both companies have a strong user base.

The new partners said in a statement Wednesday that they plan to "co-produce dozens of original movies" over the next year. The films will be developed from Indonesian stories published on Wattpad's service. The companies say they will use machine learning to identify the stories and trends with the most potential for adaptation.

Launched in May 2015, iflix is known as a market leader in the video sectors of developing markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Currently active in 28 territories, iflix says Indonesia represents its fastest-growing market, with subscribers there recently topping 9 million.

Indonesia is also a key growth territory for Wattpad, comprising about 10 percent of the company's 65 million users worldwide.

Founded in 2006, Wattpad's platform allows amateur writers to publish their own works of fiction online. In recent years, the company has ramped up its footprint in film and TV by striking deals with Universal Cable Productions, Sony Pictures Television, eOne and others to adapt the platform's IP into entertainment properties. In the Philippines, the company worked with local broadcaster TV5 to create and co-produce a series titled Wattpad Presents, comprised of 250 episodes based on 76 Wattpad original stories.

"With Wattpad, we now have the opportunity to work with thousands talented Indonesian writers to bring their stories to life for millions of iflix users in Indonesia, and broadly across our 30 markets worldwide," said iflix chief content officer Sean Carey. "With traditional distribution and platform requirements no longer a constraint and deep data and analytics available to measure performance and engagement, this deal allows us to create exciting original productions from hugely popular, local stories."

Budgets or additional details about how the partners plan to produce the large slate of Indonesian film titles were not revealed.

A portion of the new Indonesian films will be made available under iflix's recently launched iflixFree tier, which provides licensed content and regional originals to iflix users for no payment.

"Working with iflix, we can bring our millions of passionate users in Indonesia and Southeast Asia exactly what they want: local stories that they already love and can’t wait to see adapted for the screen,” said Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios.