Celebrating its first anniversary, Singapore’s mobile reading app Dreame is another example of the millions of invisible global digital readers outside mainstream publishing

“Show Your Girl Power” is the topic of to a writing competition to mark the successful first anniversary of the Singapore-based mobile reading app Dreame, owned private equity firm STARY.

For those interested, the competition submissions in which “authors can create their ideal female characters and heroines” are open until November 1, but submissions must be in English to be eligible for the $1,000 cash prize (which will be matched by a $1,000 dollar donation to “a charity supporting women.”

Reflecting on its first year, Dream CEO Samuel Law, noting the app had attracted 10,000 authors “reaching millions of monthly active users”, said,

No progress is made without our authors working on and sharing their creations on Dreame and without the support they receive from their readers.

The press release adds the Dream app,

according to the ranking based on revenue on Google Play and App Store, is among the top three reading apps in countries such as United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India and top one in Indonesia and Philippines.

Dreame Chief Editor Shaw Suen said,

We have a lot planned for Dreame. For example, writing on the Dreame app and applying for stories to be listed in the “Pay-to-Read” program will be enabled for authors and other improvements concerning the experience of writing and sharing stories on Dreame will also be made. For readers, Dreame will keep optimizing its recommendation algorithm for them to easily find a book to enjoy. At the same time, exciting events will be coming up to reward all Dreame users as well.

Per the headline for this post, Dreame is one of countless mobile reading apps enabling authors and bringing digital reading to millions of digital-first readers outside mainstream publishing, untracked by the stats counters like Nielsen, and accounting for many billions of reading minutes every month.

Wattpad’s 80 million users are part of the invisible and untapped global digital-first readership many publishers are oblivious to

In June of this year Dreame had paid out more than $100,000 to participating authors delivering content for the premium reading service.

In a press release in June Dreame explained how the app,

allows both new and established writers to get their stories seen without the hassle of securing publishers or struggling to find an audience by collecting, sorting, and tagging stories submitted to the site. Users are then able to easily browse and enjoy thousands of writings based on their personal interests. Especially avid readers may wish to acquire some stories available exclusively at a premium using in-app purchases.

This allows for much greater reader freedom than traditional platforms, all while maintaining a strong discoverability appeal thanks to its impressive reader community.

Stories such as The Alpha’s Daughter (Book 2 in an ongoing series) – a tale wrought with intrigue, mystery, love, and passion – have already amassed well over half a million reads on Dreame alone – proving there is an avid reader-base eager to discover alternative writings that explore non-traditional themes and motifs.

In a related press release in June Dreame parent company STARY explained how the monetization of the app works.

Authors grant the rights for STARY to display their brilliant stories on its platforms, but what does STARY do? Powered by internally developed smart recommendation algorithms, STARY helps authors obtain direct support from readers with its diversified monetization methods, such as “pay-to-read” program, monthly subscriptions, and all-book subscriptions. At the same time, STARY invests heavily in advertising and is always looking for the most suitable channels through which to promote authors’ books. With the exponential growth of new readers arriving at Dreame, steady revenue for authors looks promising.

According to STARY, the “payment and clearing system” consists of three components:

a) Daily Coins Report

It allows authors to keep track of the number coins received from each book listed in the “pay-to-read” program. Through the number of purchases, authors are able to find out which book is well-received, and which may need some editing to maintain support from readers.

b) Monthly Revenue Report

It lists multiple kinds of revenue generated in any single month, including “advance payments”, “signed story payments” and “daily-update payments”, letting authors know where the revenue comes from.

c) Payment Table

This is where authors can get a clear view of net revenue generated and understand how it is calculated based on the type of contract they have signed with STARY.

STARY is also trying to provide more support through its data analysis tools, letting authors know what has been trending on and outside STARY’s platforms, thus enabling them to create or edit their stories to meet the needs of the market. These data analysis tools will also be available to publishers and E-book aggregators who partner up with STARY. During the 2019 BookExpo, many potential partners expressed their interest in STARY’s data analysis tools devoted in its business models. And as of now, nearly one-hundred industry institutions have reached a cooperation intention with STARY.

Untracked and likely unknown to many of the stats counters that tell us how large the global publishing market is, digital-first mobile reading apps make up part of the dark matter of the reading universe, that mainstream publishing is in part oblivious to and in part unwilling to acknowledge.

Impossible to fully quantify, digital-first mobile reading demolishes at a stroke the nonsense propagated by many within and outside the industry who insist smartphones and social media are destroying the reading habit and undermining publishing.

On the contrary, mobile apps like Dreame and Wattpad, and many more like them, are a beacon of hope as we begin the  next decade.

There’s never been a more exciting time to be part of the global publishing industry.

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