The community storytelling platform has decided to scrap its paywall feature in favour of a new freemium model. ‘Wattpad Originals’ aims to strike a better balance for authors in terms of monetisation and growing their readership through non-paying users.
If this is the first you’re hearing of Wattpad, you’re welcome.
The bustling online community is brimming with literary talent that may have otherwise never been discovered and a constantly growing library of content.
Whether you’re a first-time author wanting eyes on your work, an experienced writer dreaming of commercial success, or an avid reader wanting to expand your horizons, Wattpad provides an abundance of great opportunities. Check out our detailed overview from 2020.
Since launching in 2006, over 1 billion original literary pieces have been uploaded, feature films have been created for streaming services, and an average of 85 million users reportedly visit the app each month to create and consume – 80% of whom are millennials or Gen Z.
Over the last five years, $10 million has been paid out to Wattpad authors through a feature called ‘Paid Stories’, according to TechCrunch.
Billed as a revolutionary way to create revenue streams for its contributors, the 2019 change basically introduced a paywall to view content that could be unlocked through spending in-app currency called ‘coins’.
Packs for these – beginning at $0.99 for nine coins and maxing out at $7.99 for 230 coins – allowed the company to pay creators while taking a cut of the redirected cashflow.
Alternatively, users could pay a monthly subscription fee of $7.99 to unlock all content and the system worked relatively well.
There are always going to be parts of your story that you wish you wrote differently. It's all about the journey and believing in yourself. And we believe in you, too.
— Wattpad (@wattpad) August 8, 2023
In lieu of taking Wattpad to the next level, however, seniors at the company have now decided to scrap Paid Stories entirely and implement a freemium model with more immediate benefits for authors and readers dubbed ‘Wattpad Originals’.