Archie seem to be happy with the digital/print mix, so hopefully this will encourage more to get on the band wagon!Â
Our RSS feed is full of references to DCâ€™s â€œpioneeringâ€ program of simultaneous digital and print release for its comics, but they are not the first comics company to do it. Archie Comics has been at it since April, and they seem to be going full steam ahead. Kiel Phegley looks at their efforts thus far via an interview with the always talkative Jon Goldwater. Although the focus is on getting current books online, theyâ€™ve also tried digital-exclusive with Jinx by J. Torres and Rick Burchett.
The mood is definitely â€œonwards and upwardsâ€ but even Goldwater admits that digital sales are stillâ€¦dinky. â€œI think of this as a revenue stream on its own right now. Is it a significant revenue stream? No. But it is significant enough to be a fully fledged revenue stream,â€ he told Phegley. â€œFrom our perspective, our goal is to increase the revenue stream and that revenue flow through all our partners, whether it be iVerse, Random Houseï¿¼ with their soon to launch digital initiative or what have you. So even though right now the revenues are only a small portion of what our annual revenues are â€” and it actually pales in comparison to the revenue we generate from print â€” it still is significant enough to stand alone, and we anticipate incredible growth from it in the future.â€
Future plans are also laid out a bit:
Ultimately, Goldwater told CBR his top priority both in digital and print is bringing a more modern sensibility to Archieâ€™s products in order to expand their reach, part of which is a diversification of offerings. â€œIf you look at the Archie App, weâ€™ve got Double Digest for sale and graphic novels for sale. My marching orders here at Archie are to get way more graphic novels up as soon as possible, and way more Double Digests up as soon as possible,â€ he said. â€œOur sales on graphic novels digitally are incredibly strong. Iâ€™m thrilled by them. We want to launch a fully-fledged digital bookstore that I like to call the Archie Super Store. Itâ€™s got everything from the classics to our current books to our digests to our graphic novels. Ultimately, 70 years of content will be up there. Itâ€™s a massive undertaking, but that is our goal. We are slowly but surely making headway on that as well. And weâ€™re also about to relaunch our own digital subscription service at ArchieDigital.com. You can subscribe either on a monthly or annual basis, and youâ€™ll see a lot of our classics there.
Obviously, Archieâ€™s digital adventures havenâ€™t killed their comics shop salesâ€¦because they didnâ€™t have huge sales to begin with. As usual, nothing approaching actual numbers are mentioned, but Archie is definitely going full steam ahead with this.