While running around Toy Fair, we ran into Wizard’s Gareb Shamus, who told us that the new Wizard World Digital will launch February 23 as a free app for iPads, iPhones, and online. It will be ad supported. He stressed that the new incarnation of the magazine will take advantage of all the things you can do on the internet. We asked him about the difficulty of competing for news in the current sphere where nerd news is usually broken at the Daily News or USA Today, and he replied (paraphrasing) that the news wouldn’t be what you would expect. “We can tell our audience of millions about something cool they’ve never heard of.”
Wizard World shows are doing very well, he said. “It’s a story that no one is talking about.”
We’ll say this: Shamus is a man who believes in his brand.
UPDATE: Graphic.ly will be distributing the digital Wizard World and Graphic.ly-owned iFanboy has a very long interview with Shamus covering all of this in positive terms. Shamus had this to say about content:
So with Toy Fair coming up, we’re going to show lots of pictures of toys coming out. When our shows are coming up, we’re going to have lots of information. We literally get hundreds of creators at all of our shows. We’re going to see between two and three thousand different artists and creators at our events this year.
That’s going to be amazing content that we’re going to have in our magazine that’s unique to us that nobody else has. They’re in our world that we can have access to. So there’s going to be so many things that we can do to take advantage of our leverage in the market and the fact that we have the audience that are the influencers out there and the people that create the products, whether they create the movies, or the television shows or the video games, or the toys, or the comic books themselves, they’re going to be very, very interested to see what we have to say out there like they’ve always been.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.