Wattpad Launches Virtual Currency to Help Its Creators Get Paid
Wattpad, an online platform where users can submit and read short text-based stories, announced the beta launch of its Wattpad Next program in the U.S.
Under the new program, stories from select writers will be put behind a paywall, allowing visitors to use the company’s new virtual currency, called Coins, to support some of their favorite writers. U.S. Wattpad users can now purchase participating Wattpad Next (beta) stories by chapter or as a complete story. A range of Coin packs are available, from 99 cents to $7.99.
“Wattpad users around the world have overwhelmingly embraced the chance to support their favorite writers through the Wattpad Next (beta) program,” said Allen Lau, CEO & co-founder. “This program is part of our commitment to helping writers earn money from their stories, monetizing stories both on and off of Wattpad. Along with opportunities to connect with brands, and work with Wattpad Studios to turn their stories into books, TV shows, films, and digital projects, writers can now make money directly from the fans that have supported them since their first page. The beta phase of Wattpad Next is just the beginning, as we look at new ways to help support Wattpad writers around the world.”
Wattpad rolled out testing for Wattpad Next in October in Canada, the U.K., Mexico, and the Philippines, before launching the program in the U.S. — the company’s largest market with more than 13 million monthly users. Going forward, the company plans to launch the program in Spanish-speaking regions before making it available globally in 2019.
There are currently 50 exclusive stories available in Wattpad Next (beta), which — for now — is an invitation-only program for writers. The number of stories housed in the program is expected to increase throughout 2019.
Launched in 2006, Wattpad now has a global community of 70 million monthly users. Earlier this year, the story-driven platform raised $51 million in new funding from Tencent Holdings Limited and other international investors. It has also made major moves in entertainment this year, co-producing Hulu’s show “Light as a Feather” with AwesomenessTV, expanding its international Wattpad Studios team, and signing new partnerships with iflix, Sony, and SYFY.