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Archie Comics to Offer Ad-Sponsored Digital Comics

  |  July 15, 2013   |  Comments

The publisher's partnership with Tapjoy will enable fans to earn credits to access digital comics.

Mass market comic book publisher Archie Comics, digital content distributor iVerse, and mobile advertising and monetization platform Tapjoy have teamed up to offer fans a new way to read digital comics for free.

Starting July 18, the Archie Comics app, which is available on iTunes and Google Play, will integrate the Tapjoy Mobile Value Exchange model in which consumers engage with advertisements to earn virtual rewards. By watching a video, taking a survey, or engaging with an ad, Archie readers will earn credits to unlock more than 2,000 comics via the Archie Comics app.

According to the Archie website, the Archie Comics app has over 11 million downloads and 650 pages of content.

Tapjoy says Archie is also the first comic book publisher to release digital comics the same day as the print editions.

An Archie rep did not respond to a request for comment.

"We're thrilled to partner with Tapjoy and embrace a new way for our consumers to get the comics they love," said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO, in a prepared statement. "Making our great content catalog available through a new free-to-own model establishes a new opportunity for how people read comics and will bring even more fans to the Archie universe."

According to Tapjoy, the new digital offering marks a shift in how publishers make premium content more widely available to consumers. It says Archie Comics will be the first digital comic publisher to utilize virtual rewards and the Mobile Value Exchange model to enable consumers to buy digital comics.

Tapjoy says it helps app developers and publishers monetize different types of mobile apps including games, movies, books, videos, and text messaging apps. It says this partnership expands its developer network in the publishing space and opens the door for further types of content publishers to offer their content to fans.

According to its website, Archie Comics has sold 1.5 billion comics to date and publishes in a dozen languages.

In addition to Archie, characters include Betty, Veronica, and Jughead.

What's more, Archie is asking fans to take sides between "best frenemies Veronica and Betty, who have been fighting over Archie for over 70 years" with #TeamBetty or #TeamVeronica on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. The effort promotes collections of Team Betty and Team Veronica digital exclusives, as well as a collection of both digital offerings and more than 100 pages of bonus content in Betty VS. Veronica, which will be released on July 19.

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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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