The West has watched China’s mobile reading phenomenon with interest. Particularly, the Chinese readers who now read self-published serialised stories on mobile devices through platforms such as Tencent, and before that, literature platforms such as Qidian and Cloudary. These readers are paying for stories in new and interesting ways: for additional excerpts of their favourite stories, they’re making micro-payments through their phones. For many years, Wattpad has been the closest equivalent in the West for serialised mobile content, but the business model has always been slightly different to the Chinese model. It’s only now that we’re starting to see genuine Western equivalents.
In 2017, Radish will be launching a new mobile storytelling platform where you can write, share and monetise bite-sized serial fiction stories for smartphones - and writers get paid. Using a freemium model, writers on Radish can earn an income from their work – creating stories that will go on to become the source of the most popular blockbuster movies, TV drama hits and addictive games. In their words - ‘we want to bring this revolution in storytelling to the West.’
Oolipo, based in Berlin, is also trying to reach smartphone users with ‘serialised, media-driven storytelling’ and are exploring how stories might be told in the digital space.
At London Book Fair, we’ll be hearing from four panelists who will get to the heart of whether readers in the East and the West respond in similar or distinct ways when it comes to the consumption of mobile stories.