WattPad is the undisputed leader when it comes to young writers self-publishing fan fiction. The Toronto based company company released new data that looks at the most popular trends of 2017. Three of the most popular shows that spawned hundreds of thousands of fan fic submissions were Riverdale, Game of Thrones and Stranger Things. . Riverdale stood out as a fan favourite, with millions of reading minutes each month, peaking at 7.9 million minutes in October and 54,000 story uploads throughout the year. Strangers Things was also huge this fall, with 7 million reading minutes in October.
Some of the top Wattpad trends in 2017 included:
- One of the biggest breakouts in music this year was up-and-coming boy band Why Don’t We. The group’s popularity exploded on Wattpad this year, as stories featuring the band went from under 40,000 reading minutes in January to nearly 20 million minutes per month for August, September, October. Watch out for more of Why Don’t We as they leap into other areas of pop culture in 2018.
- Cannibals and Killer Clowns: Horror on Wattpad in 2017 was, well, horrific. Cannibal stories were one of the biggest unexpected trends this year, with thousands of new story uploads and readers consuming as much as 3.8 million minutes in a single month. Killer Clowns were also a major trend this fall, spiking near the release of IT in theatres. The sub-genre grew from near non-existence in January before reaching 9,000 new story uploads in September and October.
- Genre mashups were huge in 2017, and one of the most popular was the combination of romance and action. This year saw spikes in romance stories featuring mafia figures and bad boy bikers, totalling more 300 million reading minutes each month of 2017.
- Zombies are forever: True to their nature, zombies never die. Zombie stories are perennially popular on Wattpad, and horror and sci-fi fans devoured stories featuring zombies throughout 2017. Reading time for zombies averaged more than 13 million minutes a month, and The Virus Within, by @CrystalScherer, was the most popular zombie story of the year, with more than 600,000 reads since January.
- Spanish-language Wattpadders LOVE K-Pop: Wattpad readers in the Latin America were the some of the biggest readers and writers of K-Pop stories. In January, Latin American users shared 12,000 K-Pop story uploads. By July that number had jumped to 21,000 story uploads across the region. For English readers, monthly K-Pop reading time exceeded 50 million minutes for the first time this year.
- Increasing diversity and inclusion in every genre: 2017 saw an increase in Fantasy and Science Fiction stories featuring a diverse main cast. Fantasy and Science Fiction stories tagged #PoC had an average of 4.8 million reading reading minutes each month in 2017. Through the course of 2017 there has been an 84% growth in reading time for genre stories with diverse characters.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.