In August, Wattpad published usage analytics for downloads and readers of the company’s ebooks. The report covers desktop usage, as well as some 1,000 different phone models from 600 carriers in 160 countries (excluding China).
• While English-language books and readers using smartphones remains the strongest segment, growth among Southeast Asian readers using Java-based feature phones is nearly as good and, argues Wattpad co-founder Allen Lau, has even more potential.
Canadian e-publisher Wattpad “aspires to be the YouTube of ebooks,” and has some 600,000 stories or e-book chapters available on its site, says company co-founder Allen Lau. In late August, Lau released statistics analyzing which devices its readers use to read Wattpad’s self-published ebooks, covering usage on desktops and some 1,000 different phone models from 600 carriers in 160 countries (excluding China, where traffic to the company’s site is blocked). The report covers traffic through the second quarter of this year, from April through June.
“We know it’s not 100% representative of the market,” said Lau, “but is an interesting snapshot, particularly for the younger demographic. We have users from teenagers to writers in their 70s, but 80% are under 25 and most of them are female.”
What is Wattpad?
The majority of Wattpad titles are downloadable as single chapters, typically of between two to twenty pages in length. The majority are written by self-published authors, though some traditional publishers have also begun experimenting with distribution through the site, which now include Macmillan’s sci-fi imprint Tor (available for the Android app) and Choose Your Own Adventure publisher Chooseco, among others.
The company is also in partnership with Smashwords.com and Lulu.com to provide marketing solutions to their authors in the US, and with Bubok.es, to do the same for its Spanish-speaking contributors.
To date, the most popular single title on the site has Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs, which is available in more 50 chapters, which have been read in aggregate some eight million times (representing approximately a half a million total readers).
A majority of titles are in English, though there are hundreds of titles available in languages including French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Malaysian, Romanian, Turkish, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Korean, Japanese and several others. The company is ad-support and advertising, through agreements with partner companies in the relevant countries, appears in the language native to where the book is being downloaded or read.
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