Wattpad Introduces Video Ads Within Stories
Wattpad, the social writing platform that launched in 2006, continues to evolve its services. In July of 2015 the platform introduced Wattpad Brand Stories, enabling publishers and brands to launch native ads on the site, some of which Wattpad authors write. Then in April of this year the site created Wattpad Studios to manage its star writers and brand partnerships. Now the site, which attracts over 40 million users monthly, has launched the third leg of its monetization strategy -- Wattpad Futures.
For the first time Wattpad will embed advertising within authors' stories, allowing those writers to earn revenue when ads are viewed. Video ads appear in between story chapters and every 30 minutes during a reading session. Wattpad’s head of partnerships Ashleigh Gardner told Publishers Weekly that Futures will eventually support display advertising as well.
Gardner said that 100 authors who beta tested Futures earned $1,000 a month from ads and that some beta testers earned as much as $2,000 a month. More authors will be able to monetize their content through Futures than previous programs, added Gardner, but like Brand Stories and Studios, it is an invite-only program. Gardner said invite criteria will consider more than the writer’s popularity on the site.
For publishers, there are some clear benefits. Futures ads will empower publishers to reach Wattpad's massive millennial audience with interactive ads. But as Wattpad offers more revenue opportunities to authors, it's worth considering whether the platform is competing more directly with publishers. With Futures Wattpad is now paying authors, in some cases, more than they might earn from traditional publishers. Might this be a threat to publishers ability to find and nurture new talent?
Read the full press release below.
August 17, 2016 - Wattpad writers come from all walks of life. They’re bestselling authors who want to connect with new and existing fans, aspiring novelists who want to build their audience, and casual writers who share stories for fun. Every month, more than 2.3 million writers on Wattpad devote countless hours to writing, editing, and engaging with readers from around the globe. They have many dreams, but share a common goal: to entertain the world with their stories.
At Wattpad, we see and understand the effort put into their stories every day. We also recognize that making money from writing can be difficult - especially for online writers. That’s why, today, we’ve launched the Wattpad Futures program, a simple way for writers to increase their earning potential.
Through the Wattpad Futures program, interested writers can supplement their income with little effort. The program helps writers earn money by inserting ads between chapters of their Wattpad story. Every time a reader views an ad, the writer earns money.
“The dynamic Wattpad community is unlike any other social platform. It’s the interconnected community of storytellers and audiences that makes the Wattpad Futures program a viable income source for writers,” said Wattpad’s Co-Founder and CEO Allen Lau. “Readers have always encouraged their favorite storytellers with messages, comments, and votes. Now, they can support Wattpad writers in a way that increases the writer’s income, without having to pay out of pocket.”
The program also allows advertisers to leverage the influence and reach of storytellers to connect with millions of engaged, mobile-first millennials and generation Z in the global Wattpad community. In-story ads are placed strategically in chapter breaks of some of the most popular stories on the platform to optimize reader engagement and meet advertisers’ brand objectives including views, clicks, awareness, and favorability.
Wattpad is home to fresh voices and content that can’t be found anywhere else. We want to encourage writers of all levels to share original content that inspires and entertains the Wattpad community of more than 45 million people. The new Wattpad Futures program builds on the existing tools, programs, and unique paths to monetization we’ve created for online writers like Brand Stories and the Wattpad Stars program. We’re proud to help Wattpad writers earn money doing what they love.
Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.