Kumu and Wattpad are tapping into the power of fandom! Kumu, the leading social entertainment platform in the Philippines, and Wattpad, the global entertainment company and leading web novel platform, today announced a partnership to adapt Jamille Fumah’s (@JFStories) Wattpad hit “Kiss Master“ as an 8-episode series for multi-platform distribution. What’s even more exciting is that through the power of real-time engagement via Kumu’s interactive livestreams, fans will have the ability to influence the project’s casting, storyline, and more.
With 7.7 million reads (and counting), “Kiss Master“ follows young heroine Sussie five years after Arkanghel Wolfgang broke her heart. The playful bad boy, once head over heels for Sussie, has since turned into a cold and arrogant billionaire CEO. Now separated not only by their social status but also personal issues that could separate them for good, their worlds seem even further apart. But when Arkanghel reappears in her life and attempts to mend their broken ties, will Sussie ever be able to forgive her first kiss?
Jamille Fumah (@JFStories) is one Wattpad writer to watch out for, with 1.5 million followers and more than 30 stories published on the platform. Fumah has also published five books with Bliss Books, Wattpad’s joint imprint with Anvil Publishing in the Philippines. Her latest release, When I First Met You, was a National Book Store bestseller.
The Philippines is one of Wattpad’s largest markets with six million members and counting. The country is also a home to some of the platform’s most influential authors and fandoms, where writers like Abigail De Silva (@CeCeLib), Gwy Saludes (@4reuminct), Tina Lata (@blue_maiden), Maxine Lat Calibuso (@maxinejiji) have amassed millions of reads and followers.
Modern Methods for Modern Stories
Making this vision a reality is the team behind Black Sheep Productions, known for local cinema hits such as Exes Baggage, Alone/Together, Fan Girl, and Whether the Weather Is Fine. Their work, both mainstream and independent, has audiences enraptured with engaging, relatable stories—made even more so now, with the reader-first, fan-driven nature of the endeavor. “We believe in Black Sheep’s capacity to adapt this story,” says Angelo Mendez, Kumu’s Chief Content Officer and co-founder of Kumu. “Listening primarily to the fans isn’t easy, but it’s what drives Kumu, and we’re confident we can work together to stay true to that principle.”
It seems only appropriate to bring in more local talent for the project; Chad Vidanes leads the way as the director while also working on the hit rom-com series, He’s Into Her. Bringing the character of Sussie to life is Kaori Oinuma, whose face may be especially familiar to Kumu users through Love at First Stream; Kyle Echarri, who rose to stardom on ABS-CBN’s On the Wings of Love, takes on the role of main love interest, Arkanghel. Throwing a wrench in this romance is Hugo, played by Joao Constancia, who has worked with Vidanes before and is known for his role in Four Sisters Before the Wedding.
An Enduring Partnership
“We here at Kumu are proud to find capable partners in Wattpad and Black Sheep, both tastemaking powerhouses that value Filipino creativity as we do,” Mendez adds. “Our expanded partnership with Wattpad is the next project in a series of fan-influenced adaptations. We’re excited to work with them to innovate the future of storytelling through this web series, encourage aspiring writers, and give the fans the best, heart-warming experience possible.”
“Like Wattpad, Kumu has built a massive, passionate, and engaged community,” says Dexter Ong, Managing Director, International, Wattpad WEBTOON Studios. “Working with Kumu, we’ve already seen incredible engagement in the past year, connecting Wattpad authors with their fandoms on Kumu. Together, we’re creating a new frontier of the Creator Economy, developing new ways for Wattpad’s biggest influencers to monetize their work, and activating built-in fandoms to create on-screen hits.”
The partnership was developed between Wattpad Brand Partnerships and Kumu, along with marketing agency Culture Group supporting strategy and commercial negotiation. This is Wattpad’s first Philippines-based Branded Entertainment project, after launching the new offering in 2021. Wattpad WEBTOON Studios will produce the new series alongside Kumu.
The collaboration follows a number of successful campaigns from Wattpad and Kumu in 2021, designed to bring Wattpad’s Filipino fandom closer to the authors and stories they love. In 2021, the companies launched exclusive Wattpad livestreams from the official @WattpadPH account on Kumu. The weekly Friday “Write With Me” livestream series brought together fans and aspiring writers to discuss all things storytelling. The successful livestream series generated more than 200k views on Kumu, and was followed by the very first Wattpad Fan Fest in October. The multi-day virtual event gave fans, readers, and authors a chance to celebrate the Filipino Wattpad Community, complete with writing tips and tricks, appearances from Wattpad authors, and information about writer programs at Wattpad. Fifty local Filipino Wattpad influencers have taken part in the partnership to date.
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