Get paid writers on Wattpad

Wattpad lets authors earn money from advertising

19.08.2016Johannes Haupt (specialist editor) 1 comment

The world's largest writing and reading community, Wattpad, has come up with an interesting new approach to monetizing self-published texts. With the Wattpad Futures program, authors can now place video advertising within their texts themselves and earn money from the advertising revenue. The first key figures are promising.

According to its own information, Wattpad has 45 million monthly users. Most members are quite young (85 percent under 30) and access self-published texts via mobile devices. Wattpad is often referred to as Youtube for texts - the comparison does not only apply to socio-demographics and the functionality of the platforms, but also to the financing problems for the "producers".

Video advertising between chapters

The main way to earn money with the texts, some of which have been read hundreds of thousands of times on Wattpad, has so far been through an external publication on Amazon & Co. The best-known example is certainly the after series by Anna Todd, which is also very successful in Germany.

However, only a few authors have notable sales successes. And Wattpad itself is left out, which of course is not in the company's interest. That is why Wattpad has now started an advertising program that in turn suggests a comparison with YouTube. If the Google subsidiary has been offering video producers the option of placing ads in front of and in videos for years, Wattpad is now also offering this for texts with its new Wattpad Futures program.

Wattpad places video ads at suitable points in the book, for example between chapters. The platform grabs part of the proceeds, the rest is distributed to the authors.

Four-digit monthly amounts for authors

Video advertising on Wattpad

According to a Wattpad manager, the income can already be seen: During the beta phase carried out in early summer, four-digit monthly US dollar amounts have already been distributed to individual authors. A "view-through rate" of 95 percent in the beta phase also shows that the ads are also accepted by the readership.

With the program, Wattpad opens up urgently needed earnings prospects for indie authors within the community itself and, of course, an extension of the business model for themselves. In contrast to advertising-financed platforms such as the eBook Flatrate Readfy and the study book provider Bookboon, the authors here receive a direct share in the advertising revenues. How high these turn out to be in regular operation is difficult to estimate. Analogous to YouTube, however, only the 1% or so of the most widely read authors will probably achieve revenues that go beyond extra pocket money.

Also something for Amazon

The success of Wattpad Futures will certainly be followed with great interest, by authors, but also by publishers - and by Amazon. Almost ten years ago, the online retailer applied for patents on advertising in eBooks and, as is well known, already sells advertisements within its platform. With Amazon Underground there is already a program very similar to Wattpad Futures, but "only" for apps.