Wattpad, the company behind a suite of apps for reading and sharing stories – including a fairly popular “chat fiction” app Tap, a rival to Hooked – is today adding its first ever subscription plan for its flagship application. The option, called Wattpad Premium, will remove the ads from Wattpad’s otherwise free app – a feature users have been requesting for some time.
The service will cost $5.99 per month, or $60 per year, the company says, and will be available to the company’s now over 60 million monthly global users.
Today, those users spend over 15 billion minutes per month reading the app’s original stories. To date, users have also uploaded more than 400 million stories, notes Wattpad.
Members who upgrade to Wattpad Premium will have ads removed both when browsing the web and mobile web, and will see a new theme in the native mobile app. In the months ahead, the subscription will include other features, too, focused on allowing users to better control the look and feel of the Wattpad platform.
The new subscription option comes at a time when Wattpad has been rapidly expanding its business. In addition to its main Wattpad app and its chat stories in Tap, the company also operates a standalone app for romance stories and a newly launched app called Raccoon, which allows users to tell personal stories using video.
The company this month also inked a deal with Toronto-based eOne which will source fan fiction from Wattpad to develop into original TV, movie and VR projects. This is an area of Wattpad’s business it has been expanding for some time, following the launch of its Wattpad Studios division last year.
While many of Wattpad’s users skew younger – a demographic that may have an aversion to paying for services when a free option is available – the company still has a sizable enough user base to tap into for this new subscription offering.
The option to upgrade will be available via a “Go Premium” button in the app, starting today.