We have an awesome interview for you today with Jordan Plosky, CEO and founder of ComicBlitz. You may recall the announcement of ComicBlitz last week which is an all-you-can-read app that for $9.99 a month gives users access to the entire library in the vein of Netflix and Spotify. Lots of things to discuss with Jordan so let’s jump in.
DUSTIN CABEAL: Can you give us all an idea of the service ComicBlitz is looking to provide?
JORDAN PLOSKY: We’re Netflix, actually Netflix for digital comics, I should say because someone thought we were sending comics through the mail at one point when I told them Netflix. Basically Netflix for digital comics or you can think Marvel Unlimited and their model.
There’s a need for a service like this. Right now we can all admit there’s one player in the game, I don’t need to name them and we all know who it is.
DUSTIN: Yes, Exactly.
JORDAN: And I think they fumbled kind of big time and they left a wide open hole for some fresh blood in the market place for customers to have an alternative rather than just one place to go for all their digital comic books. If you look at the way things are going in media in general you have your Netflix, you have your Spotifys, Pandoras and even in eBook there’s Oyster and there’s a whole war going on over there as well for who is going to dominate that market place. The subscription model is kind of a big thing right now.
DUSTIN: I agree and with that I think the big question to follow that is the content, that’s where “that” company has dominated. Is there anything you can announce about ComicBlitz’s content or is that something that will have to be tied closer to the release?
JORDAN: The comic industry is all shrouded in mystery and we’re no different. The most information that I can really give is that we have several top twenty publishers interested and we’ve had a very warm reception to the idea about people bringing their content to our platform
DUSTIN: When are you looking to launch ComicBlitz?
JORDAN: We’re looking for a release date for the last quarter of this year, early quarter of next year. I think that gives us a safe window to play around with and not upset anybody.
DUSTIN: You compared it to Netflix’s streaming service, but then also Spotify; is there going to be an option to buy the books that are on there at all have those be a part of your personal library?
JORDAN: One of the features of the app is going to allow you to buy physical copies. Purchasing digital copies in the future is something we’re looking into, but it’s not really part of the model right now. If it makes sense for us to enter into direct competition maybe, but for right now there is a place to go for that. We’re trying to bring something different.
DUSTIN: Will the content be available offline or is it something you’ll always have to be connected to the internet to read the content?
JORDAN: We do want to have an offline feature. Security is definitely an issue because it’s not just us, we have to protect the publishers who are providing us with content and we have to do right by them.
There are securities precautions that we can take especially for tablets and phones; it’s a lot easier to secure stuff like that. As for offline reading on a laptop it might be a bit more difficult on the tech side of things, but it’s definitely something that we want.
People bring their phones, their tablets on vacation, on airplanes to places there isn’t Wi-Fi and it would suck if you didn’t have access to our service there. We understand that it has to be a part of it and we do plan on making it a part of it.
DUSTIN: Are you guys working on your own style of reader? Is there a reader out there that’s already similar to it, something like MadeFire or Thirllbent or just the stock standard page flip reader?
JORDAN: I admire what MadeFire is doing, but there in a slightly different market than us. There the “motion comic” and that’s not something we’re going to be offering unless down the line there happens to be something between us and Madefire, but I think they’ve kind of cornered that market. We’re saying no to the “motion comics” for right now, but you never know what the future holds.
As far as reading experience, without giving too much away I think there’s an industry standard right now and any company that has come in underneath that standard hasn’t really made it. We’re coming in competitive with our eReader and we’re going to have some features that haven’t been seen in digital comics before. We have a great team working on this stuff with some incredible ideas and that’s all I can say about it without giving away too much.
DUSTIN: With Netflix, and not that your model is 100% the same as Netflix, but they have that rolling content where movies and such drop off. Will you guys have something similar or is going to be what’s there is always there and you build up from it?
JORDAN: That has to do with the Publishers to be honest with you. I can’t really speak for Netflix but I’m sure they would have all the content up there they could have, but that goes to their deals with distributors and rights holders.
For us the comic book industry is a little different; digital’s a great promotional tool and comic publishers, especially not Marvel and DC are looking for all the additional exposure that they can get so I would assume they would want as much stuff up there as they could have and have people reading as much of their content as possible. I can’t really speak to the individual publishers and what they would want, but I would have to assume that they would leave their content up there and just keep adding to it.
DUSTIN: Can you tell us a little about the team for ComicBlitz?
JORDAN: We have an amazing team; we’re a startup and that’s not a secret, but we have a lot of exciting things behind the scenes coming up that’s going to translate to customers and users.
DUSTIN: What do you guys have planned for Comic Con? Anything at your booth?
JORDAN: Actually we don’t have a booth, there’s something like a four-year waiting period to get a booth.
JORDAN: Which is crazy, but we’re going to be there talking to the publishers that are already interested in us, talking to publishers we haven’t yet reached out to or been able to reach out to. Taking meetings and talking to media and start spreading the word and start a buzz to let people know an alternative is coming to the market.
DUSTIN: Well is there anything else you’d like people to know before we close out?
A big thank you to Jordan and ComicBlitz for taking the time to talk to us. We’re of course going to follow the progress of ComicBlitz so keep an eye here as well, but in the meantime check them out on social media and stay connected.