Amazon acquires digital comics platform (and iPad hit) comiXology

Amazon(s AMZN) is acquiring the cloud-based digital comics platform comiXology, the companies announced Thursday. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. ComiXology “will retain its identity as an Amazon subsidiary,” co-founder and CEO David Steinberger said in a letter on the company’s website.
ComiXology lets users read digital comics and graphic novels on a number of platforms, including web, iOS(s aapl), Android(s GOOG), Kindle Fire and Windows(s MSFT) 8. It was Apple’s top-grossing non-game iPad app in both 2012 and 2013. The company, which was founded in 2007, is based in New York Over 200 million comics had been downloaded on the platform as of September 2013, and over 50,000 titles from more than 75 publishers are available.
ComiXology has been the exclusive retailer for single digital issues of Marvel and DC comics, which are released the same day that the print versions are released in stores. The company’s “Guided View” technology was also likely of interest to Amazon: It “allows readers to view a comic on a panel-by-panel basis suitable for mobile devices in a way that mimics the natural motion of the user’s eye through the comic.” (Check out the video below to see how that technology works.)
“ComiXology’s mission is to spread the love of comics and graphic novels in all forms,” David Steinberger, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said in the release. “There is no better home for comiXology than Amazon to see this vision through. Working together, we look to accelerate a new age for comic books and graphic novels.”
“Amazon and comiXology share a passion for reinventing reading in a digital world,” David Naggar, Amazon VP of content acquisition and independent publishing, said in a statement. “We’ve long admired the passion comiXology brings to changing the way we buy and read comics and graphic novels. We look forward to investing in the business, growing the team, and together, bringing comics and graphic novels to even more readers.”
[vimeo 82634575 w=500 h=281]