By Hannah Johnson
Last week, Archie Comics announced a partnership with digital content distributor, iVerse, and mobile advertising platform, Tapjoy, to bring integrated mobile advertising and consumer engagement opportunities to its Archie Comics App (for iPhone and Android). Readers earn virtual currency by interacting with the advertising inside the app, which they can then “spend” to access Archie Comics content.
The app is free to download and offers both free and paid comics.
“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,” said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics Publisher and co-CEO, in a prepared statement.
While this certainly isn’t the first mobile app to use this kind of advertising model, it does represent a step into new territory for publishers, many of whom have dismissed advertising as a way to monetize their content.
For a brand like Archie Comics with a dedicated following, fans might be willing to watch a video from an advertiser or to answer a couple survey questions before gaining access to that content, especially if it means getting the content for free.
Research company eMarketer recently predicted that, in terms of digital advertising, desktop ad spending in the United States would peak in 2014, while mobile advertising would continue to grow, reaching $11.76 billion in 2013.
With advertisers looking to spend more on mobile platforms, in-app mobile advertising could be an untapped opportunity for many book publishers who have already built mobile apps.