Continuing to revamp and reposition its strategic business model, Wowio.com, an online hub for the aggregation, creation and distribution of digital content, is launching the newly acquired Spacedog Entertainment, a digital comics imprint with a library of original comics properties that include previously released print works as well as comics properties that have been adapted into feature films. Wowio plans updated versions of many Spacedog properties that will be serialized digitally through the Wowio/Spacedog website.
The addition of the Spacedog library of about 85 graphic novel titles is the latest addition to Wowio’s online inventory of prose and graphic novel content. Wowio offers a business model featuring a broad variety of digital content both for-pay as well as titles offered for free download with support from advertising partners. Last fall the site added about 200,000 e-book titles via Ingram Content Group, with prices set by publishers who keep 100% of the sale price. Wowio generates revenue from driving traffic to the site and offers a package of sponsorship and promotional platforms to publishers and other kinds of firms.
Wowio CEO Brian Altounian said, “The addition of Spacedog Entertainment to the Wowio family of brands adds a substantial library of intellectual property to our continuously growing e-book distribution platform.” Altounian said that Spacedog has focused on creating commercial graphic novels that can make great films or video games—content for a broad market.”
Altounian said the Spacedog backlist will be updated with new content much like an app or enhanced e-book—Altounian called it “blended media,” adding video, animation or prose content to its graphic titles and said the company will have “big content announcements” this summer at San Diego Comic Con. “We’ll be announcing multiple Spacedog titles with blended media
The Spacedog Entertainment digital comics titles will be offered at 99 cents per issue download—titles will be released in 26 page episodes based on print format—and will feature revised content, new endings and a variety of extra content to bring in new readers. Wowio offers downloads of PDF and in ePub. Although Wowio digital content contains DRM, Altounian said its DRM allows them to track titles but does not restrict consumers use of its e-books and users can put them on multiple devices.
Founded in 2003, Spacedog has focused on developing comics and graphic novel properties for print and digital release as well as for film development. Its backlist includes the graphic novel The Convenant, which was developed into a film, and Proximity Effect, which was published by indie comics house Top Cow. The firm also has a number of properties in development with Universal, Fox Television and Lionsgate. Spacedog is also partnering with Dark Horse Comics to release Zero G, a Spacedog-developed digital graphic novel, as a print work, planned to debut this summer in San Diego.
The acquisition and relaunch of Spacedog, Altounian said, is another step in Wowio’s development beyond its initial model as an aggregator of e-book content, to a model that includes its own branded original content offered through a network of sites supported by social media. The Wowio network of sites includes the Webcomics communities DrunkDuck.com and WeVolt.com—both sites allow creators to develop and comment on new online comics and DrunkDuck will be redesigned and relaunched in beta form next week—as well as pop culture video site PopGalaxy.
“The blended media concept is the next evolution of where digital books are going,” said Altounian. “We’ve added staff here at Wowio and we plan to be a producer of digital media as well as a distributor. We want to be a studio. We care about this and how publishers are looking at digital distribution and new revenues.”