Seung Yoon Lee is co-founder of Radish, the app which provides readers with up-to-date stories and  their top writers – with five-figure monthly incomes. Not surprisingly such a success does not come out of blue, but has a clear and scrutinous preceding experience.

Lee, more known by « SY» nickname, received his Degree in Politics, Philosophy & Economics at University of Oxford in 2014. There he was a president of the centuries-old Oxford Union and considered himself as a «content curator». In the call of his duty he invited famous intellectuals, politicians, artists, and celebrities of all kind – from PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel to «Gangnam Style» rapper Psy – to give a talk at his alma mater. Such an experience proved to be very helpful for his future project. In September 2015 Lee founded Radish Media, which contains an iOS and Android mobile app for serialized fiction, and named it Radish. Now 25 year-old Lee is included in 30 Under 30 Asia Forbes Rating in Media, Marketing and Advertising.


Radish: What Is In Its Heart

This app is specially designed for the mobile generation, which does not feel right at home without a smartphone in their pocket or even right away in hand. It is based on freemium model, which means that there is some content for free and another – for money. The point is clearly described on the app’s official website: «On Radish you can write, share and monetise your bite-sized serial fiction stories, perfectly suited for reading on smartphones». So writers on Radish get a significant income from their creative story writing, which later becomes a great source of «the most popular blockbuster movies, TV drama hits and addictive games». This model has become recognized as a successful one in East Asia. Now Radish is seizing power in the West.


Not World-famous, But Positively Touching

The writers presented on Radish app are not world top writers, but whose, who express themselves in a clear and attractive to a reader manner. Moreover, producing interesting content, an author gets a real opportunity to make money from their writing by reader’s micro-payments. For example, you can read some chapters of any of Radish’s 700 authors for free, but if you want to go on – you need to pay about 20-40 cents per chapter. As a result, revenue is split 50-50 between the app and its writers. Well, if you are a top writer on Radish, you are able to get $13,000 income a month.


Robert Their: Wattpad VS Radish

Radish Toronto-based competitor Wattpad unites 45 mln readers all over the world. Mostly young and female, who are able to leave feedback on whatever they read, contacting authors directly. The difference is that top app writers on Wattpad make money not only through providing interesting content for readers, as well as through advertising. Robert Thier, a German writer, who writes in English, has more than half a million followers on Wattpad. He believes that the fan’s left feedback is very helpful for his work, because he knows that these fans will stay devoted to the platform, as they do not normally have access to printed books. So they will stay here, in the app, and will continue consuming the content they prefer. Thier says that «You can sign up for various programs and get revenue from advertising being placed in your stories, and you can get indirect benefits from being a Wattpad star, they call it. They’ll put you out there to publishing companies and other people interested in your writing. Maybe you get an advertising contract, things like that. But I weighed the pros and cons and decided Radish was the better way to go». Starting from February 2016 Thier is available on Radish, where his «Silence Is Golden» has been read over 650,000 times. By this subscription service Thier earns a five-figure monthly income.

Well On Its Way

Lee believes that soon he will be able to attract world-famous writers to Radish and by means of it turn the serialized fiction app into «a more premium site». He is ready to face the challenge with raising user-generated content, while alluring well-known authors and editors, going through all the content. «That’s something very down the line, but ultimately that’s what we want to get into. That’s our vision. The reason why I find this platform the most exciting is that stories can become anything, from movies to VR content. Traditionally, you rely on agents to kind of rely on their instincts to find the best stories. But if you have writers who are writing with the crowd and directly monetizing with the crowd, you have the monetary feedback. So you can try to source good IP as a platform. You have all this data around which stories are doing well, and you help the writers turn those stories into other media properties. That’s very exciting», – says Lee.

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