Wattpad announced today “Premium Picks,” a new offering that gives Premium and Premium+ subscribers monthly access to five free Wattpad Originals—the recently launched freemium model where select authors can choose to monetize chapters.
Instead of paying to unlock content, members are now given five Wattpad Originals each month at no additional cost. The selection is curated by Wattpad’s team of experts, ranging from top hits and yet-to-be-discovered gems to books written by up-and-coming authors. Some examples of Premium Picks include titles by Perfect Addiction author Claudia Tan, Gaslight author Rachael Rose, and The Girl He Never Noticed author Neilani Alejandrino. Premium Picks will give authors a new spotlight to showcase their work and potentially gain more readers.
The selection of free stories will expire on the first day of each month, so subscribers will have to purchase the ones they didn’t get to finish. Wattpad included a countdown timer on the Premium Picks screen, so readers know how much time they have left. They can also turn on app notifications to be alerted when the next batch of stories is available.
One month doesn’t really seem like enough time for subscribers to read all five stories. But we guess that Premium and Premium+ members are hardcore readers anyhow, so maybe this won’t be a problem for most.
“Wattpad readers read a lot, and Premium subscribers are some of our most passionate fans,” Meghan McDonald, head of strategy and business operations at Wattpad, told TechCrunch. “They subscribe to Wattpad Premium because they want to be able to read without interruption. And every reader enjoys stories at a different speed. While some might binge a whole book in a sitting, others might read a story over the span of a few days or weeks.”
Wattpad launched its $4.99/month Premium subscription in 2017, giving users an ad-free experience, offline stories, bonus coins with every purchase of a Wattpad Coin pack and exclusive profile colors and reaction stickers.
“Wattpad Premium looked very different when we launched the first version of our subscription service in 2017… Our research and internal data about reading trends among subscribers made it clear that we can add significant value by giving access to a selection of Wattpad Originals, some of the most exciting stories on Wattpad,” McDonald added.
Meanwhile, Premium+ subscribers ($7.49/month) — Wattpad’s most loyal users — get an extra bonus: the choice of two additional Wattpad Originals. They’ll also have unlimited access to any Wattpad Originals unlocked with their subscription and can reread these titles as long as they remain part of the Wattpad Originals program.