WOWIO sold

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wowiochange WOWIO sold

WOWIO, the ebook distribution site, has gone offline and word is going around that the company has been sold. Wowio offered FREE digital distribution of various comics publishers including Lone Star Press, Steve Rude, Digital Webbing and many others. We’d been hearing rumbles that the company was behind slow on its payments to creators, and as of yesterday the site was offline for 2-4 weeks while the acquisition was complete.

Developing.

Comments

  1. Hey,
    Wowio was a couple weeks late with payments this last time (the first time that has ever happened) but everyone was paid. The way the above was written, it seems as if you’re saying that Wowio has not been paying people, and that’s incorrect.

    The publishers on Wowio such as myself are really excited about what the future holds for the company.

  2. Also, it’s “Digital Webbing”.

  3. Allen says:

    I canceled my WOWIO account a few months ago. Generally I liked the service, but the inconsistent download limits turned me off. If they return, I would rejoin if there was a promise of consistency for at least six months.

  4. I’ve often viewed Wowio as a company built to be sold rather than to actually make a profit, so this must be the exit event they’ve been waiting for.

    @Steve Horton – I’ve never heard anyone who has content on Wowio talk about how much money they make. Is there a NDA that keeps people from mentioning such things?

  5. BradC says:

    11:18 you said there would be no “uninformed speculation,” and now, a little over three hours later, “word is” is a source for a story that could do damage to the company if untrue, and your story doesn’t even mention what’s on the front page at wowio.com: that they are offline so they can go global, something that non-US readers have long asked for. Are the Wowio folks THAT hard to get a hold of that “word is” is a good enough source to go on, rather than actually talk to an informed source?

  6. The Beat says:

    That’s the difference between “uninformed speculation” and “informed commentary.”

  7. Jim,

    A sense of propriety keeps most people from talking about cash. Since mine is stunted, I’ll talk dollars. I started out on WOWIO in November last year. Since then, we have cleared about $10K on 15,000 free downloads. The best performer over time has been Bill Willingham’s PANTHEON script book. The best performer this quarter was SideChicks #1 which compiles my webcomic of the same name which runs on Graphic Smash.com. That material is what the Zuda books will look like when they ever hit print.

    WOWIO far out-performs sites like Drive Thru Comics which is a pay-per-download site. I think that WOWIO has proven that giving away ad-supported books works better as a business model than the pay per download sites.

    Bill
    SideChicks- http://www.graphicsmash.com/comics/sidechicks.php

  8. @ Jim: Actually, many people such as Chris Crosby have openly talked about the money they’ve made in forum posts. I have no problem disclosing numbers when asked.

    I’ve been on the site since April 2007, and my company has made almost $28,000 since then, most of which goes straight to the creators I publish.

    Crosby and a few others have made far more than that.

    I’m hoping that the new global Wowio means even better numbers for everyone.

  9. I’ve posted WOWIO revenue numbers publicly before for my companies (Blatant Comics/Keenspot), so I have no problem with giving an update on that. Since last August we’ve made $93,624.50 from 186,736 WOWIO downloads.

  10. Since Crosby has had comics in the top 10 nearly every day since August, I’m guessing he is probably the #1 publisher. :) So now you know the high end of what is possible.

  11. @ Jim: I remember talking to you a year ago about getting Flashback Universe on the site. Think about it after the relaunch – I think your stuff would be a perfect fit.

  12. “Since Crosby has had comics in the top 10 nearly every day since August, I’m guessing he is probably the #1 publisher.”

    For awhile there we had five of the Top 5! The good ol’ days… :)

  13. BTW, easy way to hit #1 on Wowio – buy a few skyscraper ads on Project Wonderful. You’ll get about 2 to 1 on your money in the form of additional downloads, if you do it right.

  14. My only concern with Wowio’s long term health is the advertising part of the model. I downloaded over 60 books, but at least half had no sponsors. There were only four sponsors in my books: Vonage, Verizon Wireless, Lifelock, and Celsias. Vonage and Lifelock are troubled companies, to say the least, and I have no idea what the heck Celsias does as a company. All of the unsponsored books leaves me thinking that they had difficulty filling their ad inventory.

    (Note- I’m technically a former employee of Vonage- I walked in, saw how scary the company was, and didn’t go back the next day. But there are plenty of other sources that detail how bad the company is; you don’t have to take my word for it.)

    While it’s admirable that Wowio is going global, I wonder if they can get enough global advertisers to make it work. If Vonage and Lifelock are two of your top advertising accounts, you have to wonder.

  15. @Steve, @Bill and @Chris,

    Hey guys, thank you for the information!

    Actually, I’ve been working on 3 different projects that I call Flashback Season 2 that I’m sort of targeting towards Wowio – I’m really interested in seeing what the new owners(?) do with Wowio…

    – Jim

  16. I look forward to WOWIO rebooting and allowing worldwide access. Sounds like this one has good growth potential!

  17. Rich Stahnke says:

    I have books on Wowio and the last quarter royalty payment did arrive a little later than I thought it would, but it did arrive. The company employees have always been good about responding to inquiries from myself and other creators I know when we had questions or concerns about something.
    Opening the site up to international users greatly increases the potential readership and market for advertisers as well.

  18. While not DLing graphic novels, I have been grabbing a lot of photo/design books from WOWIO and I hope they come back. I was just about to give them a plug on public radio (I’m a guest on WPR), but calls did not permit the time to do it, which was a good thing considering they are down.

    I’m hoping they expand the selection to include things like my multimedia content, “How To Use The Digital Camera You Just Bought!” But at 93 MB due to the extensive audio, it might be a problem.

    However, I am happy to see that creators of original material have actually made some $$ from the WOWIO idea. I wish them the best in the future.

  19. Bobby says:

    This just in:

    Platinum Studios Announces It Is in Negotiations to Acquire WOWIO, LLC
    Monday June 30, 6:00 am ET

    LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Platinum Studios, Inc. (OTCBB:PDOS – News), an entertainment company that controls an international library of more than 5,600 comic book characters which it adapts, produces and licenses for all forms of media, today announced that it is in negotiations to acquire WOWIO, LLC, a leading online source for downloading digital books and comics. This acquisition would continue the expansion of Platinum Studios’ global digital media distribution strategy.

    Commenting on the attractiveness of WOWIO to Platinum Studios, Brian Altounian, Platinum’s President and COO, said, “WOWIO’s commitment to its motto, ‘free books + free minds,’ has driven the WOWIO team to create a national digital publishing distribution network, both in the comics and traditional publishing world, that brings together creators, publishers and sponsors in a way that allows authors and publishers to be paid, while providing readers access to free books. We feel that WOWIO’s unique business model has positioned them to be at the forefront of change in the publishing world during this challenging time for the entire industry. Platinum believes that acquiring WOWIO would be a major cornerstone of a global digital publishing distribution initiative, and that Platinum is poised to enhance and expand WOWIO’s business while bringing a true global distribution outlet to all of WOWIO’s publishing partners, including Platinum Studios Comics.”

    “Platinum Studios represents an incredible opportunity for WOWIO at a time when the traditional publishing world is transitioning to electronic distribution channels and fresh revenue models,” said Dr. David Palumbo, CEO of WOWIO. “We started WOWIO with a single purpose: to strengthen the relationship between content owners, content sponsors and content consumers. Joining with Platinum Studios would allow WOWIO to fulfill its founding mission of increasing access to free books to all and would significantly enhance reaching our goal of becoming the world’s leading digital content distribution source for the publishing world.”

    Final deal terms between the parties have not been reached but the companies hope a transaction can be concluded early in the third quarter this year.

    About Platinum Studios, Inc.

    Platinum Studios (OTCBB: PDOS) is an entertainment company that controls an international library of comic book characters from all over the world, which it adapts, produces and licenses for all forms of media including print, film, online, mobile/wireless, gaming, and merchandising. Platinum Studios’ library contains more than 5,600 characters spanning a full range of genres and styles, and also includes properties such as http://www.DrunkDuck.com, the industry’s preeminent webcomics community. Working with leading companies in the entertainment and new media sectors, Platinum believes it is well positioned to emerge as one of the front-runners in the creation of new content across all media platforms. Platinum Studios – Comics Fueling Media EVERYWHERE!

    To learn more about the company and to sign up for our newsletter, please visit our website at http://www.platinumstudios.com/news/index.php.

    About WOWIO

    WOWIO opened on the World Wide Web in August 2006 endeavoring to dramatically expand access to important written works by eliminating the economic, geographic, and logistical barriers of readers while also ensuring that content owners are fairly compensated. WOWIO is the only source where readers can legally download high-quality copyrighted ebooks from leading publishers for free. Readers have access to a wide range of offerings, including works of classic literature, college textbooks, comic books, and popular fiction and non-fiction titles.

    Platinum Studios Safe Harbor Statement

    Matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this press release, the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “may,” “intend,” “expect” and similar expressions identify such forward-looking statements. Although expected, actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those contemplated, expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. These forward-looking statements are based largely on the expectations of Platinum Studios and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties associated with: the impact of economic, competitive and other factors affecting Platinum Studios and its operations; its markets, products, and distributor performance, the impact on the national and local economies resulting from terrorist actions, and U.S. actions subsequently, and other factors detailed in reports filed by Platinum Studios with the SEC.

    Contact:
    Platinum Studios, Inc.
    Media Requests:
    Randy Greenberg, 310-807-8100
    Public.relations@platinumstudios.com
    or
    Platinum Investor Requests:
    Thomas Becker, 702-478-7363
    investors@platinumstudios.com

    ——————————————————————————–
    Source: Platinum Studios, Inc.

  20. Well for one if the site doesn’t come back up in a few days…I will be removing the link from my favorites. Thus, no longer being interested in it.

  21. Chris G says:

    Wowio now open. Check it out.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Wowio.com is down at the moment. The site says they are gearing up to go global, and that they will reopen in July. Over at The Beat, though, Heidi MacDonald thinks something else is up; she hears the company is going to be sold. [...]

  2. [...] WOWIO sold WOWIO, the ebook distribution site, has gone offline and word is going around that the company has been sold. (tags: books) [...]

  3. [...] In other news, a few of you may know that I had been considering putting back issues of A Distant Soil up on Wowio. Before I signed that final agreement, the news hit the blogosphere that the web site had been pulled down and Wowio was being reorganized, agreements were being rewritten and the company was being sold. Naturally, I decided to hold off signing anything, especially since I had inquired about the status of Wowio right before all this went down and had been assured all was just dandy. Perhaps all IS just dandy, but I do not want to sign an agreement with a company is a state of flux, especially when I do not know who the new owners may be. [...]

  4. [...] June 30th, 2008Author Kevin Melrose The ebook-distribution site WOWIO recently went offline for “retooling,” spurring rumors that the company — increasingly popular with comics creators and small publishers — has been sold. [...]

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