Singapore – Within the recent period that digital has seen a surge in adoption, the format of live streaming has proven to be a powerful channel in offering audiences a new and exciting way of engaging with brands. The most prominent being is the emergence of live streaming specifically in e-commerce. This time, we see another brand take on the trend and probably a one-of-its-kind – Wattpad, the global platform for user-generated stories that we’ve come to love, has partnered with kumu, the fast-growing live streaming platform in the Philippines.
Kumu is a live streaming platform that is rising in popularity among Filipino viewers. Aside from presenting creators and performers opportunities to be a live streamer, the platform also runs game shows where users can win cash prizes. Through the partnership with the platform, Wattpad looks to diversify its stories into exciting digital formats such as live streaming, audio streaming, and social commerce.
Facilitated by marketing agency Culture Group, the partnership will give some of Wattpad’s most popular influencers the opportunity to connect with their fans in the region, developing a slate of interactive social streaming content exclusive to kumu.
Starting 16 July, exclusive Wattpad live streams will be held at the official @WattpadPH account on kumu. Through this, fans and aspiring writers can come together to discuss their passion and appreciation for all things storytelling. Every Friday at 7pm PHT, viewers can tune in to join the ‘Write With Me’ livestream series, a special live show where fans can meet and interact with Wattpad stars.
According to the two platforms, the tie-up is also their answer to the digitally-savvy Gen Z consumer.
“The Gen Z community on Wattpad is passionate and highly engaged, and we’re excited for this new opportunity to connect readers with their favorite indie writers,” said Chris Stefanyk, head of brand partnerships at Wattpad.
Meanwhile, Angelo Mendez, co-founder and chief of content at kumu, added, “Wattpad is a big part of Gen Z Filipino culture, and this partnership will allow us to broaden our audiences by giving them an opportunity to foster authentic connections with their favorite Wattpad stars and new ways to enjoy their favorite Wattpad content.”
Kumu will also be allowing audiences to send virtual gifts to their favorite Wattpad stars. Furthermore, the partnership will be enabling social commerce, and will see upcoming opportunities for ticketed events, merchandise, and apparel in the near future. Said other initiatives will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
According to Wattpad, it now records 90 million readers globally where more than 6 million are in the Philippines. A number of original stories from Wattpad have already been turned into films in the country such as She’s Dating the Gangster, Diary ng Panget (Diary of the Ugly), and Just The Way You Are, which featured some of the brightest stars in the country.
Just recently, kumu announced a new type of event hosting in its platform – the kumu ‘Live Events’. The new platform aims to replicate the real-life live events and concerts complete with being ticketed and gated as well as coming with post-show engagements. This is in contrast to the standard kumu live stream shows that are open to public viewing.
MARKETECH APAC reached out to Michael Patent, founder and president of Culture Group, who shared exclusive bits on the upcoming engagements of Wattpad on kumu, including a fan-centric mega event in the future that would involve kumu’s ticketing, social commerce, and social streaming features.
MARKETECH APAC: What makes this partnership different? Was there a specific rise in demand for stars and fans’ engagement?
Patent: We (Culture Group) recognized that Wattpad and Kumu play a critical role in the creator economy; Wattpad on user-generated content and Kumu in the formation of creator-driven communities. We knew a marriage of the two would lead to greater exposure for creators and greater engagement for the Wattpad fandom. It’s a first of its kind between a live-streaming platform and a creator platform.
The success of the partnership is rooted in the behaviors of Gen Z in Southeast Asia. They are the ‘creation generation’, and this partnership allows both brands to engage deeper with their community. The intersection of content, community, and commerce allows Wattpad’s fandoms to support the creators they love.
MARKETECH APAC: How will this specific engagement go about on kumu? What must users and fans do in order to be part of this?
Patent: Wattpad’s leading stars will have a presence on Kumu with unique content formats such as ‘Write with Me’, ‘Wattpad Fan Quiz Show’, and ‘Ask me Anything’. This means there is a deeper level of engagement, never previously seen before for kumu fans. The fans will have more control over the narrative. What makes this great is that any member of Wattpad’s fandom can log into Kumu and engage with their favorite writers through social streaming.
There’s also a significant ‘gamification’ of the program. This means fans who engage with Wattpad Stars can now win unique prizes and access. This is a key feature and is available via Kumu.
Highlights of the features include:
Write with me Livestream: While writing, the Wattpad Star will ask viewers to vote on specific choices to determine what happens in the story. Imagine being able to decide what the character is wearing, where the scene will occur, or even the time of the day for a critical location.
Fan Quiz Show: Fans will play a quiz with their favorite stars on their stories. The host will have the ability to ask fans to send as many virtual gifts (VG/diamonds) as they can while they play music. When the music stops, one of the hosts will take a screenshot of the stream to reveal a winner. They will be gifted signed books and other Wattpad merchandise.
MARKETECH APAC: What other upcoming projects can we expect in line with this new initiative?
Patent: There’s a fan-centric mega event planned that involves Kumu’s ticketing, social commerce, and social streaming features. There’s also the possibility for capsule collections of merchandise and apparel from Wattpad IP to be sold on Kumu.
Recognizing the power of fandoms and communities, I think we’re likely to see much more from Wattpad and Kumu, two of the hottest engagement platforms for Gen Z consumers in the Philippines.