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Radish by Seung Yoon Lee, UK Radish by Seung Yoon Lee, UK

Digital dailies

16 : 03 : 2017 Radish : Books : Futuretainment

UK – Radish provides original curated literary content that targets digitally connected consumers.

  • The app was developed by Seung Yoon Lee, contributing editor of The World Post
  • Radish has already raised £2.5m ($3m, €2.8m) from investors
  • It uses a micro-payment system that enables authors to charge per chapter

Radish is a new reading app that serialises original fiction, enabling authors to easily monetise their writing. The first few chapters of the novel are available free, after which the author adds a payment plan of £0.16–0.32 ($0.20–0.40, €0.18–0.36) per chapter, which consumers can either buy or wait a few weeks until the chapter is taken out from behind the pay wall.

All of the revenue generated is then split equally between the brand and its authors, which founder Seung Yoon Lee states could earn contributors up to £10,640 ($13,000, €12,220) per month. The app creates a more immediate relationship between authors and their readership, allowing readers to directly demonstrate their support.

The app borrows from both the traditional format of a literary serial, popularised during the Victorian era, and more recently from countries such as Japan, China and South Korea, where self-publishing websites have become a popular medium to allow authors to charge in exchange for advance chapters. Some 43% of China’s online population read online novels in 2015, according to a government report.

Lee believes that as smartphone screens become bigger, consumers in the West will move away from e-reader devices. ‘The future of e-readers is the future of iPods. You’re not going to hold on to these devices,’ Lee told Fast Company. ‘You’re just going to convert to phones.’

The Big Picture

Apps such as Radish ensure that reading remains relevant in a world in which platforms such as Netflix have helped consumers become used to serialised entertainment. For more on the future of entertainment, see our Futuretainment macrotrend.