When Webtoon initially offered fast pass, I thought this was a great way to support creators. Also, I was only fast passing a handful of Webtoon Originals. So, a few hundred coins went a long way. Last year, select series episodes cost went from 5 Coins to 7 Coins. This happened without warning. There were disgruntle comments here and there, but most people continued to fast pass.
I kept going for a bit, but fast passing multiple webcomics a time was burning through my coins quicker than usual. Obviously, Webtoon isn’t going to adjust it’s cash to coin packages. That would defeat the purpose of raising episode cost for select webcomics. Besides, most webcomic apps require monthly subscriptions or credits to binge read any series. How can Webtoon profit off binge readers?
Implement Daily Pass Restrictions on New Webtoon Originals
Instead of becoming a subscription based app, Webtoon is implementing Daily Pass restrictions on new series that they predict will be successful. Why is this a smart move. For one, Daily Pass episodes cost 3 Coins after a reader views their free daily episode. As I mentioned earlier, most ongoing series range from 5 to 7 Coins an episode. Whether a reader spent 3, 5, or 7 Coins, the episode will remain unlocked when the series ends. I was able to confirm this by checking on Completed Series that I fast passed from 2020 to 2023. Depending on how you look at it, I overpaid for episodes that would eventually cost 3 Coins to unlock. However, I didn’t pay for all the episodes that I read for Ongoing Series that turned into Daily Pass Completed Series. So, there’s a half glass full analogy that fits either argument for Webtoon’s Daily Pass model.
Why Are Readers Annoyed With The Daily Pass Resticitons on New Webcomics.
1. The 24 hour restrictions prevents readers from binging Daily Pass New Series.
A handful of episodes are free to read. After that, the reader can cash-in on a free episode. Then, it’s 3 Coins a piece until the next day. It doesn’t matter if the series is 20 Episodes in. If you manage to catch up, you’re limited to One Episode a week. So what’s the point of making a new series Daily Pass. If Webtoon is after daily use, they’ll get more out of a 150 Episode Completed Series than a new Ongoing Series
2. The last three episodes of that season are permanently locked.
Unless you see a “Webtoon Will Return” on the launch page, you’ll have no idea that those last Three Episodes are pay to read. This happened to me when I read Little Lady Mint. It took over a month for me to notice those episodes were still locked. When I checked the comment section, I found out I wasn’t the only one. Unless you want to wait for the next season, those episodes remain locked.
3. Popular Ongoing Series still follow the Fast Pass Model
Readers can still binge read Popular Webtoons like Lore Olympus with out threat of the Daily Pass system. Truth be told, it’ll likely get the Daily Pass treatment once Rachel Smythe completes the series. At that point, a majority of the fandom would agree readers had plenty of time to enjoy the series while it was free. Plus, Lore Olympus has a print deal that’s about 4 Volumes in. There’s another reading option.
The Hard Truth
Webtoon Users may not like Daily Pass, but people are still going to read them out of curiosity and recommendations. I’ll admit, Webtoon is trying to implement binge reading opportunities that are primarily used for Yonder, their Novel based app. The amount of free episodes vary for Ongoing and Completed Daily Pass Series. Since I’ve decided not to fast pass anymore, I don’t mind reading Daily Pass Series. It helps me read daily. I prefer to read fantasy, drama, and romance webcomics. Below are Daily Pass Webcomics I’m currently reading.
I wonder how long Webtoon will remain a subscription free webcomic app. Since the app tries to keep content 17 and below, it’s competing with apps that cater to a mature audience. In my opinion, it’s doing all it can to avoid monthly/annual subscription. If engaging with Daily Pass content prevents that, I am willing to do my part.
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