From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Industry Books, Comics
Founded August 2006
Founder William Lidwell
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Key people
Brian Altounian
Products E-books
Services Publishing, Merchandising
Owner Brian Altounian
Alliance Acquisitions, LLC
Divisions Wevolt
Pop Galaxy

WOWIO is a publicly traded media company based in the United States. It is an online destination that provides users the ability to share and consume digital media content, such as e-comics and E-books, while providing revenue-generating opportunities for creators and publishers through advertising and merchandising programs.

WOWIO's chairman is Brian Altounian, a former Time Warner executive and board member of Platinum Studios.[1]


WOWIO was founded in 2006 in Los Angeles[2] by "author and entrepreneur" William Lidwell.[3] Its original goal was to provide readers with free, downloadable E-books in exchange for embedded advertisements.[3] Initial offerings in the WOWIO catalogue included public domain titles like Wuthering Heights and Frankenstein, and comic book titles like the Tenth Muse series.

In June 2008, Platinum Studios announced that it had begun talks to acquire WOWIO, hoping to make it a "major cornerstone" of "a global digital publishing distribution initiative."[citation needed] The companies projected that the acquisition would be concluded early in the third quarter of 2008,[citation needed] but issues related to WOWIO's non-payment of quarterly earnings delayed the sale.[4]

In June 2009, WOWIO was purchased outright by Brian Altounian, formerly Platinum Studios' COO (and still a Platinum Studios board member).[2] Altounian's company Alliance Acquisitions, LLC is a minority owner, along with a group of investors; Platinum Studios no longer has any ownership stake or percentage.[2] Third quarter earnings for 2008, calculated on a new formula more favorable to WOWIO, were eventually paid.[5]

In June 2010, WOWIO raised $1.7 million and purchased the online community WEvolt.[6] WEvolt, which was created by Jason Badower (a comic artist from Australia who has illustrated and colored several Heroes graphic novels) and Matt Jacobs, enables comic book artists to create and share their work with their fans. Its online platform allows creators of comics (and eventually other media) to generate revenues by participating in ad sales and other activities such as merchandising. Users can create and submit their original material for broader distribution consideration, or they can simply use the site as an aggregator of their favorite online content.

A week after its purchase of Wevolt, WOWIO acquired from Platinum Studios.[7][8] DrunkDuck was a webcomics community of mostly amateur creators mixed with some Platinum Studios-owned professional titles.[9] At the time of its purchase by WOWIO, the DrunkDuck community claimed 95,000 subscribed users.[7]

In the middle of August 2013 the Drunk Duck site went offline. After repeated delays, the website briefly returned in September 2013, only to soon go offline again. On October 10, 2013, the site was brought back, now rebranded as



  1. ^ "Brian Altounian Joins Platinum Studios as Chief Operating Officer: Former Time Warner Interactive Executive Brings Both a Proven Operations Track Record and Multi-Media Partnership Experience," PR Newswire (August 9, 2005).
  2. ^ a b c Reid, Calvin. "New Owners, New Business Model at," Publishers Weekly (Oct. 25, 2010).
  3. ^ a b Press release. "WOWIO Introduces 'ebooks for Free' Concept to U.S. Readerdom," PR NewsWire (Aug. 14, 2006).
  4. ^ Johnston, Rich. "WOWIO to Pay All 2008 Second Quarter Payments by November 15," Bleeding Cool (October 1, 2009).
  5. ^ "Turning the Page", Los Angeles Business Journal (08 March 2010). Retrieved on 2010-08-08.
  6. ^ Wauters, Robin. "WOWIO Raises $1.7 Million, Acquires Online Community WEvolt", TechCrunch (03 June 2010). Retrieved on 2010-08-08.
  7. ^ a b Tartakoff, Joseph. "Wowio Buys Webcomics Community DrunkDuck ", Gigaom (08 June 2010). Retrieved on Feb. 19, 2014.
  8. ^ Dilworth, Dianna. "Digital Publishing: WOWIO Acquires DrunkDuck Comic Book Community," MediaBistro (June 10, 2010).
  9. ^ Marriott, Michel (September 25, 2006). "Using Web as first draft for comic books". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 May 2012. bought, a popular Webcomics site ... community of Webcomics artists, writers and fans 

External links[edit]