Whenever I speak with VCs about the next Canadian company they think will blow up on the global stage, the first word out of their mouth is usually “Wattpad.” With over 40 million users and 125 million stories uploaded to the storytelling social platform, Wattpad might already be there.
On the most recent episode of BNN’s The Disruptors, Wattpad CEO Allen Lau spoke with Amber Kanwar about how the company can monetize its hockey stick growth. While Lau claimed that getting Wattpad profitable “doesn’t make sense right now,” he did admit that the company is exploring revenue options like native advertising.
Perhaps more interestingly, Wattpad is leveraging the big data from the millions of stories written, read, and liked on its platform to help understand what makes a story go viral. These stories are then presented to publishers, who in turn are offering major contracts to the authors – including not just book publishing but television and movie deals.
“We’re disrupting the publishing industry, but we’re also disrupting the entertainment industry,” Lau said.