Amazon is about to further expand its digital media empire after it announced plans to acquire popular digital comic book site comiXology. It’s not immediately known how much it’ll be paying for the New York-based startup.
Launched seven years ago, comiXology has built a strong following among comic book fans in the intervening period, developing a solid a cross-platform marketplace offering digital downloads from most of the major publishers in the sector – including the likes of Marvel and DC Comics – alongside content from independent creators, too.
Its online store has now seen more than 200 million downloads, a figure which led the New York Times to describe it as “the iTunes of comic books.”
Speaking to Time just after news of the acquisition broke, comiXology boss and co-founder David Steinberger, and Amazon’s VP of content acquisition David Naggar, both made it clear that comiXology will continue to function as a standalone business, and continue to operate from its East Coast base.
Keen to keep things moving along much as they have done since 2007 when the company first arrived on the scene, Steinberger said he believes Amazon more often than not allows its acquisitions to “spread their wings,” adding, “It gives them resources and lets them go on the same path, only faster, better and stronger.”
There’s no doubt that digital has helped turn around the fortunes of the comic book industry in all its forms, with comiXology doing its bit to boost interest in the market in the online space. With tablets offering a decent-size screen with crisp displays, and online stores like comiXology offering an easy way to get hold of content, creators have seen not only a growing interest in their work but also a new buzz around the industry in general.
comiXology says on its website that it “won’t stop until everyone on the face of the planet has become a comic book fan.” Now that it has backing from one of the biggest players in the e-commerce game, it looks as if it’s one big step closer to its lofty goal.