In September 2014, something unprecedented happened in the Philippines, one of our most highly engaged countries. Wattpad partnered with the Kapatid Network to make some of the most popular Filipino Wattpad stories into a primetime mini-series airing on TV5 right after The Amazing Race Philippines. This comes after popular stories from our platform had already leapt onto the big screen and become blockbuster hits. This is exciting for us, because it represents an intersection between traditional forms of entertainment media like television and books merging with a non-traditional media platform like Wattpad.
Now over a year later, the Philippines continues to be an interesting market. With a population of just over 100 million people, 44 million of whom are online, an astonishing 32 million people have mobile phones with internet connectivity. It is a country of connected people who are influenced by American culture and absolutely love being social online. This is a big reason why they embraced Wattpad with open arms and why two of their forward-thinking mobile carriers Globe + SMART decided to use Wattpad to bundle offers to their mobile subscribers. New subscribers would receive their phone plans and not have to pay for data when they used Wattpad; a major advantage for millennials who were already loving the app. In the Philippines alone, over 100 of their traditionally published books first originated on Wattpad.
And it’s highly evident that this is where things are going. Not just in the Philippines, but globally. There is a hunger for shows by real people, stories by real people and even marketing by real people. Nobody wants a manufactured experience anymore. And millennials especially trust content from friends over brands and demand authenticity.
Increasingly, we are working with huge entertainment brands in the United States who are starting to recognize the upside of working with Wattpad to launch blockbuster movies by inviting participation from our enthusiastic community. Just a few years ago this type of thing would have never happened, and now brands are having meaningful interactions where the fans get to become active participants and help shape the success of marketing campaigns by co-creating content with their favourite brands.
Wattpad is at the forefront of some exciting developments in the entertainment world. Our content is appearing outside of our website on the big screen, television, and online. Wattpad has proven to be globally relevant from a cultural perspective and we are just beginning to touch the surface of where we will go in the entertainment space. We are already licensing top writers and popular content to develop shows and webisodes. We are at the intersection of this cultural shift in the way we advertise and merge the ever-changing online world with the slower paced and sometimes traditional offline world.