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Wattpad also made a move towards helping writers earn money on the platform by introducing several new monetization ini...

Wattpad: Empowering writers and connecting the world, one story at a time

Wattpad also made a move towards helping writers earn money on the platform by introducing several new monetization ini...
  • In 2020, Wattpad is looking at increasing its brand partnerships.
  • 2019 saw it partner with T-Series, Universal, Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Graphic India, Aleph Publishing and Teach for India.
  • For Wattpad, the future goal is to ‘entertain and connect the world through stories’.
For global writing community and multiplatform entertainment company Wattpad, 2019 was a year of many innovations and landmarks. Last year, Wattpad’s global community touched the 80 million mark, and Apple recognized the platform for driving the Storytelling App Trend of 2019.

Wattpad also made a move towards helping writers earn money on the platform by introducing several new monetization initiatives like Wattpad Premium and Wattpad Paid Stories.

In entertainment, Wattpad’s film ‘After’ won a People's Choice Award for Best Drama Film, three Teen Choice Awards, and became one of the top-grossing indie films of the year. Their Hulu show, ‘Light as a Feather’ received four Daytime Emmy nominations and a second season order. The Wattpad Studios team also signed a dozen international entertainment deals, forming new partnerships and developing projects with the biggest studios across Europe, Latin America as well as in South Asia.

Globally, the platform has been working with brand partners like JC Penny, National Geographic, and T-Mobile. Closer home as well, 2019 saw Wattpad bring brand partners like Universal Music India, T-series,, Graphic India, Big Bang Music, Penguin India and Harper India on board. Come 2020, the platform aims at working with more brands, to build a stronger community of storytellers, while also giving advertisers an opportunity to target an engaged community of writers and readers.

Wattpad’s India story

In India, Wattpad introduced the Wattpad India Awards in December 2019. Modelled on The Wattys, Wattpad’s annual global writing competition, the initiative is aimed at engaging with Wattpad’s growing community of readers and writers in India.

Speaking about some of the other highlights from India, Devashish Sharma, Country Manager, Wattpad India said, “2019 was all about educating the market about the offerings of Wattpad. We parterned with schools, colleges, publication houses, trade bodies, production houses, music labels etc. We showcased a new way of connecting with your fans/audience through storytelling. In addition to digital contests, we also ran Masterclasses, Wattpad Campus Talks etc. to reach out to new users.”

The platform also partnered with various brands like T-Series, Universal, Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Graphic India, Aleph Publishing, Teach for India, etc and is on the lookout for bringing more partners on board this year.

How brand partners benefitted

When used right, storytelling can be an important tool in engaging with audiences. And as more and more brands open up to this power of storytelling, it is expected that Wattpad will see more brand partnerships. Speaking about the opportunities that the platform offers for advertisers, Sharma said, “We are already deeply engaged with brands in India and around the world. With our combination of technology, community, engagement, and a built-in network of influencers, we transform the way brands connect with their audiences - particularly Gen Z - through stories. From video with best-in-class completion rates to branded content and native programs with Wattpad influencers, we tailor brand campaigns to find the best way to reach the right audiences. Wattpad Brand Partnerships aligns brands with stories that are unique, diverse, and have a massive built-in audience so that they can always reach the right consumers with content that is perfectly tailored for them.”

Using a new-age platform like Wattpad also means that one has to come up with innovative ways of engagement, and that’s what a few partners tried to do. Gaurav Wadhwa, Founder, Big Bang Music (a JV of Kwan and Sony Music) said, “We've successfully worked on campaigns with WattPad - to combine music and it's expression at a time when nobody seems to be doing it. It's about moving beyond traditional streaming apps, but finding audiences that are still music-centric. Each song that we release through Big Bang Music is unique and WattPad gives us that edge to market these songs to a new audience.”

Moreover, publishing houses find a direct connect with a platform like Wattpad. Speaking about how they gained from their recent partnership with the platform, Niti Kumar, Senior VP – Marketing, Digital & Communications, Penguin Random House India said, “It’s been about a year since we have been collaborating with Wattpad to drive discoverability for our books and authors. We started a little cautiously but over time have seen great value online and offline through initiatives like campus events, online chats, contests and excerpt posting. There’s still a lot of potential that Wattpad has and we look forward to newer and better initiatives in 2020!”

Wattpad’s vision for the future

For Wattpad, the goal is to ‘entertain and connect the world through stories’. Throwing light on their goals ahead, Sharma added, “We are investing in India, growing our business and community in the market, and creating global opportunities for Indian storytellers. We’re helping writers all over the world build an audience and get discovered. Wattpad writers are already bestsellers. When you turn on the TV, go to a movie, or log in to your favourite streaming services, Wattpad’s insights could be behind the decisions that led to that project being green-lit. Soon you’ll see even more Wattpad stories on screens everywhere. India is home to some of the most creative storytellers on the planet, with the most exciting literary and entertainment sectors anywhere. We want to help more India Wattpad writers build a global audience, telling their stories to people around the world.”

-- Wattpad is backed in India by Times Bridge, an investment arm of the Times Group