Archie Comics is going same-day digital with six of their monthly titles starting in April, in arguably the most significant commitment to digital comics seen yet from a major publisher. The news was originally reported today by the New York Times.
The titles going digital are mainstays Archie, Archie & Friends, Betty, Veronica, Betty and Veronica, and Jughead, which is all of their non-licensed, non-digest, non-magazine format, ongoing monthly comics. The NY Times article wrote that the publisher is “starting” with those comics, implying that more may be coming.
Maybe just as significantly, the digital copies of the comics are priced at $1.99, a full dollar less than the print product. When other publishers have released comics digitally the same day as the print product — such as Ultimate Comics Thor at Marvel or Justice League: Generation Lost at DC — both formats were priced the same.
Unlike most other major publishers, Archie comics have traditionally sold most at newsstands, thus are seemingly not at the same risk at disrupting relationships with direct market retailers, which has been cited as a stumbling block for going same-day digital. Check Newsarama later today for more on this story.