Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wowio 2.0

With CCI right here, here's a bit of news that will probably get lost in the shuffle. Wowio, according to their web site, is set to relaunch in almost exactly one week's time, roughly ten days after the company was purchased by Platinum Studios. As near as I can figure, they closed the site down due to some contractual agreement with Platinum and I suspect it's still down now while they finalize the new contract agreements with various creators.

What can we expect to see different on Wowio now that Platinum owns it?

Well, I think it's safe to say that the basic operation of the site will remain the same. Speaking as a web developer, it's highly unlikely they made any substantial changes to the core functionality during their relatively short down time. It's possible they had some things in the works previously which might be rolled out with the new version, but I have a gut feeling that isn't the case this time.

And creator Scott Christian Sava has noted that the contracts will effectively stay the same: "Only an addendum is being added to include new features." That implies that the content will largely remain unaffected. What these new features are I don't know, but I doubt they'll show up at new launch. (See previous paragraph.)

I seem to recall seeing a new blurb earlier this morning about how creators will need to track down their own advertisers instead of using Wowio's more company-wide approach they'd previously used. However I can't seem to find that article now, and trying to roll that idea out within a week puts an insane onus on the creators to shore up advertising contracts quickly. While I wouldn't put that past Platinum, I'd think Sava would've mentioned something that significant.

For all the stir this story has created over the past several weeks, I'm getting the impression it will amount to nothing for the purposes of casual users. I think that when Wowio relaunches, it will have by and large the same content they had before with the same delivery mechanism. I know a lot of people -- including myself -- are skeptical of Platinum's intentions, and I still harbor doubts about the long-term prospects of what they're going to do. But I think that in the short term, it won't look any different than we've seen before. So if you've already got an account, my suggestion is to log on as soon as you can and download everything you're interested in as quickly as possible before Platinum really sinks their teeth into things.

But, you know, maybe that's just my cynicism talking.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Hey Sean,
Just because a lot of people are linking to this post, it would probably help to revise a couple things. I'm not publishing on Wowio anymore, but creators do get 50% of any fee-based downloads, regardless of the price point (minimum 50 cents, no maximum).

The problem is, nobody's buying anything when they can read it all on the site for free (and creators have no way of shutting off the free preview).

That's a deal breaker for many creators, especially ones that have webcomics, which is one reason there are so many fewer comics publishers there now. The other big reason is Platinum.