WattPad is a digital storytelling platform and the company has just unveiled a new premium subscription plan for their Android and iOS apps. It will provide an advertising free experience and will cost $5.99 per month or $59.99 for a one year.
“Wattpad as a product has always been free to the readers, free to the writers, so this is the first time we have done something like this,” CEO and co-founder Allen Lau said in an interview.
“Wattpad Premium will allow users in Canada and the U.S. to enjoy an ad-free experience. By doing so, we are giving the users full control over the look and feel of the product.”
Having an ad-free option is one of the most requested improvements suggested by Wattpad customers, said Lau, estimating more than 60 million readers use the app to connect with some 2.5 million active writers each month.
He said he doesn’t know how many customers will sign up for Premium, nor is there a certain target number. He said it will continue to be upgraded with more enhanced features going forward.
Jui Ramaprasad, an assistant professor of information systems at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, said the paid premium option or “two-sided platform” model is something many apps have embraced to build revenue after capturing an audience with a free portal.