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Wattpad Launches Paid Subscription Service

Wattpad continues to struggle to overcome its mistake in its early years when it choose to build its platform but not its business model.

The author-focused social network has tried sponsored stories, pimping authors to publishers, interrupting stories with ads, and now it is launching a paid subscription service.

It announced the launch on its blog yesterday.

Since Wattpad was founded over 10 years ago, we’ve always prided ourselves on our commitment to listening to our community. As we’ve grown from just 1,000 users in our early days to a global community of more than 60 million people today, we continue to pay close attention to what our users want to improve their Wattpad experience.

One of the most frequent requests we hear from Wattpadders is for an option to enjoy an ad-free experience on Wattpad. So starting today, we’re thrilled to launch Wattpad Premium for community members in Canada and the US! Wattpad Premium is our first-ever subscription tier, giving Wattpadders more control over their experience on the platform and the ability to enjoy an uninterrupted, ad-free experience.

Wattpad Premium will be available for $5.99 per month or $59.99 upfront for the year (a savings of two months). At launch, Wattpad Premium will include an ads free experience on mobile and web, as well as a fresh new theme within the app. We’ll also be adding additional features in the coming months, offering Wattpadders new ways to take more control of the look and feel of the platform.

“The Wattpad community is the most important thing to us, and we want them to have the best possible experience across all our platforms,” said Allen Lau, Wattpad CEO and co-founder. “An ad-free option has been one of the most requested features from our users. Wattpad Premium gives people more control over their Wattpad experience, and allows us to continue to offer Wattpad as a free platform that anyone can enjoy.”

The thing about Wattpad is that it missed  great business opportunity when it was just getting started. It neglected to develop a distribution business, and as a result after authors have grown their audiences by developing stories on Wattpad they then use some other platform to put the stories on the market.

If Wattpad distributed those stories they could have avoided annoying users with adverts, and charging a subscription.

But as they say, hindsight is always 20/20.

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