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  1. #61
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    I think a lot of Brian's points are valid from his point of view. The deal being created does leave the LCS who signs on in a precarious position.

    The real problem here is the the LCS is being shoe-horned into a arrangement that wasn't designed for it. Most people won't bother being sure to connect through an arbitrary portal. At some point, when asked where they get their comics from, the buyer won't say "I get them through my Comics Experience link to Comixology". They'll say "Comixology". After not very long, the distinction will fade away. I think the Border's analogy is a pretty good one.

    Also, no one will go to their local comic shop to somehow enable a download and then go home and download the comic. To think that is to not understand the way the internet functions in 2011.

    From DC's perspective, I see why this make sense. You could say that they are turning their backs on a system that has carried their product for 40 years. You could also say (notwithstanding any personal commitments that were made to Brian), that they have been part of a system for 40 years that has perennially made them second best to a company (Marvel) that has done nothing over the last 20 years but try to undermine the very system that they have had so much success in (Heroes World or no overprinting anyone?). DC, on the other hand, has been a friend to the Direct Market retailers, has the more recognizable characters, has been the most innovative (Vertigo, Paradox, etc.). All this buys them a distant second place finish month after month. See John Jackson Miller's awesome site for details http://www.comichron.com/vitalstatis...ketshares.html

    Why is DC second best in the DM? I don't know. I'm sure a lot of the blame can get laid right on their own doorstep. Besides DC's own problems, most direct market retailers over the years have been hostile to the type of consumers that could greatly increase DC's market share. If you've been a customer in a comic shop in the last 30 years, you'd see why women (Sandman, Wonder Woman, Fables), children (Teen Titans, Looney Tunes) and even older adults (Superman, Batman) would be put off by the unprofessional, dirty, hostile, unorganized mess that some percentage of these retaliers (what percent??? 45% 55% 70%???) present to the public.

    Probably the best way to look at this is to ask: What will comic distribution look like in 10 years?

    -MPS

  2. #62
    Ben L FunkyGreenJerusalem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antfromdudley View Post
    What I meant was, in order to sell their comics, ComiXology do not need to go via an LCS stroefront.
    They have their own app + website.
    By going through an LCS storefront, they're giving some of their profits to the LCS.
    The digital store fronts are all profit for DC, as it is underwritten by the direct market.
    Without the money made on the direct market, there wouldn't be comics on Comixology.

    Comixology NEEDS the direct market - not the other way around.
    And when you look at it like that, Comixology is offering a pittance, in return for a whole of profit, where all the risk/burden was carried by someone else.

    It's not like DC is offering a larger profit margin to retailers, now that, ideally, they will be getting more customers for the same fees paid on producing the books.
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyGreenJerusalem View Post
    If the Direct Market was to stop selling DC's books, DC would go bankrupt.
    That's kind of a ridiculous assertion. DC (or Marvel) makes more money off of one successful movie than the entire industry makes off of print comics in a year. DC doesn't really need to make any money at all off of comics books. And if the 'direct market' were to fail overnight, it wouldn't take that long to set up new distribution channels for selling print comics - through the web, say. Or at kiosks in malls. Wherever, it doesn't really matter. Comic book revenues are really small potatoes to Time Warner and Disney.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyGreenJerusalem View Post
    If the Direct Market was to stop selling DC's books, DC would go bankrupt.
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterJC View Post
    That's kind of a ridiculous assertion. DC (or Marvel) makes more money off of one successful movie than the entire industry makes off of print comics in a year. DC doesn't really need to make any money at all off of comics books. And if the 'direct market' were to fail overnight, it wouldn't take that long to set up new distribution channels for selling print comics - through the web, say. Or at kiosks in malls. Wherever, it doesn't really matter. Comic book revenues are really small potatoes to Time Warner and Disney.
    DC doesn't need to publish comics for Time Warner to keep making movies or TV shows off the properties. If the publishing division stopped making money, Time Warner would shut it down, and without the direct market the publishing division would definitely lose money. There are no "new distribution channels" for paper comics for DC to pull out of their butts- if they were viable channels DC would be selling there already. DC may be relatively small potatoes, but money losing divisions get shut down if they can't turn things around.
    -Goodman


    Comics reader since 1974. Now purchasing 100% of my comics digitally.

  5. #65
    Blue Captain bluetyson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCurmudgeonComics View Post

    When you purchase a digital comic for your computer, you don't own a darn thing. You haven't downloaded it. You can't turn that digital comic into a physical object. You can't print it out or turn it into a PDF. You are limited to when you can read that book, since you need an internet connection to get to it. You are at the mercy of that company and any future owners of that company to supply you access to that product. And that's not even in the event that, god forbid, Comixology goes out of business.
    If you don't know what you are doing, certainly. All Comixology on the web is doing is serving up obfuscated jpegs. So of course you can save them, turn them into a pdf or print them if you know what you are doing. Simple screen capture programs or print screens will do the same thing.

    So will bittorrent/rapidshare or whatever else if you want to find them and back them up that way after you have bought them.

    The no longer having nice web access to them when Comixology dies as all companies do is certainly true.

    You can also do the BT/RS thing when a company you have bought from goes belly up, too.

    A small percentage of comics you can download though. Top Cow, for example, if you buy at DriveThru or MyDigital. Morning Glories appeared at the latter this week, too. So support those.

    More importantly 2000 AD also sells CBR/PDF.

    The ability to offer downloading so you can read it on whatever you want and with no internet is a competitive advantage - and in marketing. 'The Mouse doesn't want you to share comics with your little sister, they have too much Fear' or whatever. So companies that do it should sell more than those that do not, proportionately speaking.

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyGreenJerusalem View Post
    The digital store fronts are all profit for DC, as it is underwritten by the direct market.
    Without the money made on the direct market, there wouldn't be comics on Comixology.

    Comixology NEEDS the direct market - not the other way around.
    And when you look at it like that, Comixology is offering a pittance, in return for a whole of profit, where all the risk/burden was carried by someone else.

    It's not like DC is offering a larger profit margin to retailers, now that, ideally, they will be getting more customers for the same fees paid on producing the books.
    That sounds a bit anti-competitive - imagine if someone decides to produce and sell a new type of coke:
    Ah but Coca Cola + Pepsi will say, without us there wouldn't be a coke market so give us some of your profits!!!

    Yes I see how that works!!!

  7. #67
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    Interesting topic - change can be exceedingly painful on the established marketplace. The question, not yet answered, is how to evolve with digital as a local comic store distributor.

    I see the local comic store as a "tour guide" to the world of comics. People can come, browse, get advise, interact, and find better content due to the local store. Can't that also work with digital? Sure. The question is how to establish an economic system that works for it.

    The basic problem, and this faces every industry, every product, is what happens as you shrink the sale price and collapse the chain of hands between the content creator and the consumer. Digital clearly jumps over the print machine and allows DC/Marvel to sell nearly direct to end users, bypassing the entire distribution channel - including Diamond and the local comic shop.

    As a business - well, we know what businesses can and must do - they will cut unnecessary cost. If there is no inherent true value to the local comic shop, then it will get axe'd. So, the trick is to find a way to present and defend that value as the comic industry goes digital. And this is not very easy - as Comixology evolves (as it must) - it will begin to offer more and more free content to compensate for consumers not being able to browse like they can in a local comic shop.

    No easy fixes here, this is tough and will continue to be tough as it evolves. As mentioned many times, this pattern is repeating in all sorts of industries and the inevitable conclusion seems to be elimination of the mom and pop in favor of massive distributors with direct online storefronts.

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