Spotify has partnered up with Nerdist to offer motion comics based on new Archie comics. All six issues/episodes feature music and voice acting alongside the original comic illustrations. If you watch Riverdale on CW or Netflix, you’ll be familiar with the characters and their backstories, but the storyline follows the comics and diverges from the television show.
The motion comics are available in Spotify’s mobile app. To watch, tap play and the episode will begin. You’ll be reading, hearing, and experiencing the comic all at once. The text of the comics still appear, but since the comic auto-plays rather quickly between panels, you don’t really get the option to read at your own pace. The graphics also appear a bit small compared to Webtoon or other more optimized comics readers.
The first six motion comics are already on Spotify now as Spotlight: Archie — The New Riverdale, using the same Spotlight branding as the visual podcasts that Spotify launched back in January. They’re each around ten minutes long, and they’re honestly pretty fun to watch. The autoplay and voice acting also solve the pain point of needing to use one hand to scroll through comics and keeping your eyes glued to the text ordinarily.
Archie Comics has been experimenting wildly with incorporating real artists into new issues, creating unusual spinoffs, and even licensing the rights out to create Riverdale, a much moodier take on the franchise.
A couple years ago, Spotify made a big (but ineffective) push to expand beyond music into video. In January, the company pivoted away from original video, announcing it was partnering with media companies to make visual podcasts and audio snippets, which would be more in line with what users expect from the service. Spotify also lets users stream podcasts on the service, which has been more successful than its video initiatives.