Graphite is a free digital service that’s trying to be Spotify-meets-Netflix, but for comics. The app, which is available right now on Android and Apple, will be free with ads or $4.99 a month with no ads. The service already claims to have 10,000 titles.
But what good is a digital service without publishers? Companies that have already partnered with Graphite include Boom Studios, IDW Entertainment, Legendary, Tokyo Pop, Aspen, Dynamite Entertainment, Papercutz, and Top Cow. Graphite will also cater to independent creators in addition to the major publishers. But most importantly, they claim that publishers and creators will receive 70% of all ad and subscription revenue, in addition to full transparency in providing monthly analytics.
Graphite is also using AI in order to determine recommendations for readers, so you don’t have to have human to human contact like in a comic book store. Tom Akel, Graphite’s chief content officer said:
“Ours takes into account your user behavior, what you’ve watched before, what the pool of people around you liked and cross references that the same way a Netflix algorithm will.”
Filip Sablik, the president of publishing and marketing for Boom Studios, was fully on board with Graphite.
“We’ve had free content available for multiple years, and it hasn’t cut into our Comixology business. In fact, it has continued to grow.”
It’s already a crowded digital marketplace with Comixology Unlimited, Marvel Unlimited, and DC Universe. It might be tough for Graphite to thrive with competition from Marvel and DC themselves, who Graphite doesn’t currently partner with. The two publishers alone dominate the market. Last month, the two combined for 69% of the marketshare in dollars and 79% of the marketshare in units.
But, Michael Eng, Graphite’s chief executive has a plan: use a lot of generic words to make it seem like a plan.
“We have so much premium content and brands and franchises that the public recognizes and loves that there’s no lack of things in here that audiences are not already familiar with,” he said.
Graphite is available now.