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Spotify launches Archie motion comic series as it takes on a new medium

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Spotify has launched a new six-part motion comic series with Archie Comics (opens in new tab) called Spotlight Archie – The New Riverdale. 

Based on the bestselling 2015 Archie comic book by writer Mark Waid and artists Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, and Veronica Fish, the new series sees Archie Comics continue to experiment with bringing its beloved characters into the modern age  and delivering them to a younger audience. 

Streaming exclusively on Spotify, the new series represents yet another interesting type of content that digital streaming platforms are able to offer users. Speaking to The Nerdist (opens in new tab), Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater said, “Archie has always been about trying to find new ways to get comics to fans and readers.” 

The revival of the motion comic

The launch of Spotlight Archie – The New Riverdale follows the success of the 2016 CW series Riverdale (opens in new tab), which stars K.J. Apa and Cole Sprouse in an angsty re-working of the cheery original comic books. 

Motion comics first became popular in the 1960s, when Marvel Comics Animation used the technique to bring its characters to life in The Marvel Superheroes (opens in new tab). They’re created by enlarging individual comic strip panels, and adding voice acting, music, sound effects, and basic animation.

The launch follows the cancellation of Spotify’s original shows programme in 2017 (opens in new tab), and could signal the rise of a new market for the streaming platform. In any case, the launch of a streamable motion comic series has interesting implications not only for rival streaming companies, but also for the comic book industry and the music industry.

Could this signal a new partnership between artists and comic book franchises? Only time will tell. For now, the first episode of Spotlight Archie – The New Riverdale is available to stream over at Spotify now. (opens in new tab) 

Olivia is TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in TechRadar's London offices, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine.  In her spare time Olivia likes gardening, painting, and hanging with her cat Ethel and golden retriever Dora.