Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 45
  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    28,870

    Default CBR: Tilting at Windmills - Nov 17, 2011

    Brian Hibbs examines Month 3 of DC Comics' New 52 titles, day-and-date digital release snafus and Marvel's decision to add "free" digital copies to its "Ultimate Comics" lineup.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    64

    Default

    I definitely think you're right in the overall, and I recognize my household as the outlier - BUT - I still like buying a paper comic while my wife vastly prefers to read digital. I wouldn't pay an extra $1 for both, but given the choice I'd take the two format version so my wife can read what she wants the way she likes.

    2 cents.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    46

    Default

    I don't see much point to the free digital copy either. And I'm saying that as someone who reads ~70 issues per month and is transitioning 75% of that over to digital. I LOVE digital.

    But this implementation that Marvel had with Avenging Spider-Man was lousy. The beauty of digital comics is that you can be reading it on your iPad within ~15 second of picking up your iPad. That includes the ordering, typing of passwords and download time. It's slick.

    This Avenging Spider-Man deal required you to go to a special URL, input a code on your PC, then answer a bunch of dumb questions about where you bought the comic....oh yeah.....you had to log into Marvel.com. Then go get your iPad and see that the comic is there.

    No thanks. Plus, I think it'd be just as fair for the digital copy to come with a code redeemable at any retailer for a free dead-tree copy.
    I write a few reviews/week for:
    weeklycomicbookreview.com

    My comic review blog (for whatever I don't get to review at WCBR):
    allthiscrap.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    BANNED
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    1,195

    Default

    I can answer that question. As things stand right now digital is not the future of comics. I know there are a really loud minority out there demanding that everything go digital, but as it stands its just not workable from any angle. The DRM, the pain in the arse to the local comic retalier & the barrier to entry that is purchasing a tablet/computer, a solid internet connection & a credit card.

    Maybe at some point it'll become the "future of comics" but at the moment its much like Virtual Reality was in the 1980;s... A pipe dream of what the future could possibly be like... as long as you don't think about it to much from a practical stand point.

    What digital gives us in convenience (or lazyness if you are happy being non PC about it), it loses in the joy of collecting, in the camererardery & feeling of community that a message board just can't replicate.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    7

    Default

    As I said last month if I'm going to pay $3.99 for a book, which I don't like doing, if there's a digital code included I'll be more apt to purchase.

    Digital is the way things are going to go, it may still take 10-15 years but it will go that way. Look at the music industry as a barometer. Who would have thought 10 or 15 years ago that CD's would be almost obsolete?

    Also I thought the retailers make $0.50 for each digital code redeemed. I could be wrong but that's what I recall. If that's the case then wouldn't it be worth the retailer's time to come up with a system to hand out digital codes so everything isn't polybagged? It drastically increases their margins. Maybe Marvel makes the codes a little more generic, so you have an Ultimates code, Spider-Man code, etc. Then you can pick the book you want in that line. Decreases all of the crazy paperwork on the retailer side.

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    65

    Default 3-5 DCnU titles on the chopping block?

    Is that a common view in the industry, and if so, which titles are they? (Of the #1s I sampled (about half), the one that was horrible was "Mr. Terrific"; based on that issue, cancellation would be well deserved, but maybe #2 was better.)

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    251

    Default

    How about Marvel provides an unbagged complimentary copy to each shop? That way folks can browse it if they wish. Problem solved.

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1

    Cool Marvel's feeble attempt to help....

    I think Marvel is actually trying to "help" the DM retailer by giving them 2 products to sell for the same price. Marvel could just decide to sell digital copies at 0.99 (yeah right) or 1.99 or 2.99 (stop with the 3.99 already, good GAWD) bypassing the DM retailer and sharing sales with comixology and Apple instead. Digital comics are not coming in 10-15 years, nor will they be here soon, they are already here and retailers better be prepared for the fallout otherwise they will be joining Blockbuster, Borders, and Tower Records in our memories.

    My strategy as a buyer? I buy most of my comics from DCBS at 30-40% off. So a marvel 3.99 comic is actually 2.39. Now if I can sell that digital code for 0.99 my net comic cost for a 3.99 comic falls down to 1.40. Which is a very comfortable price point.

  9. #9
    ... with the High Command Lemurion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Wentworth Hall, Tellus
    Posts
    2,433

    Default

    I buy digital, but I really don't like Marvel's implementation. For starters, I don't want to use my Marvel.com login (I use it so rarely I can't even remember it at the moment), I want to use my ComiXology login so I have all my books in one place.

    Also, I really don't like the idea that if I buy digital I have to pay full cover for that format only while people who buy print get both formats for the same price. It feels like they're ripping off those of us who prefer to buy digital.

    What I do like is the idea of including download codes with collected editions - especially as a value-add with the deluxe hardcovers. That's a great idea.
    Anyone who thinks DC is bringing back the Silver Age doesn't know what the Silver Age is.

    There is no such word as "persay," it's per se, two words, from the Latin.

  10. #10
    ☿Mecurial master of media Living Silver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    2,016

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by matthew_lane View Post
    I can answer that question. As things stand right now digital is not the future of comics.
    That's a pretty bold statement, considering that people familiar with the prevalence of bootlegging would argue (as I've read it argued) that there are far more digital/pirated copies than there are printed copies every month.

    The "digital future" that people are asking for is a model that looks exactly like Amazon's digital MP3 service: for a buck you can download a digital file with no DMR. Have a searchable catalog so extensive that it eliminates any need to use the pirating channels. Nothing that retailers, digital or otherwise, are doing remotely looks like this model.

    Now it's understandable why no retailers are jumping on this model: it's a huge risk. Even Drive Thru Comics, which allows you to keep a digital copy of the book that you don't need an active Internet connection or priority software to read, has a form of DMR in that they put a watermark (your name and order number) on the books you purchase from them. I don't know about you, but I don't want someone reading my name and ID # at the end of every MP3 I listen to. It's not that I plan to upload the book to pirate: it's just an aesthetic thing.

    This all being said, Hibbs makes a very good point in his article: the download crowd and the crowd currently frequenting comic shops are different. Some individuals probably belong to both, but there is no need to try and recruit digital fans from print fans. Us print fans, the ones who go into a shop and buy hard copies do so because A) we like tangible media that we can display on a book or read unwired on a couch, B) we like to mingle with the comic reading crowds in person and discuss our likes and dislikes in a healthy, social manner, and C) we like being able to cruise through the racks and buy a book on the spot that catches our eye (although this final reason is becoming harder to do because of the Direct Market system). Back-issue bins D) can also be a thrill. There are very good reasons for specialty stores to exist, and the people that enjoy them don't need to be sold on the digital experience. If anything, digital retailers should be marketing their product to the digitally savvy youth, who are much more likely to engage in bootlegging.

  11. #11
    Senior Member momaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,123

    Default

    I'm feeling burned on the whole digital revolution. Take movies for example. I have about 50 itunes movies redeemed from blu-ray copies. I don't have an ipad so they are pretty much useless from a portable sense but I live in hope that itunes will become available on other platforms. I would never pay the prices they want for the digital copies either. So I have this library that I can hopefully oneday use and now the studies (Warner I'm looking at you) are trying to change the rules and make digital copies a cloud only item that can only be streamed and has an expirable (is that a word?) license.

    Translate to comics. How many different types of services have they tried so far? How complex are they? I'm not confident I can buy comics digitally today (not that I have a device that makes the idea of digital comics appealing - I certainly ain't reading them on my bulky laptop) and start up a library that won't be incompatible in 2 years time with whatever way they change the delivery and drm model.

    The digital revolution is not here for the good of consumers. It's here for the good of the providers. They don't want us owning copies that we can read/watch at any time. They want us moving to a licensing platform where we have no physical copy, were we have limited use rights, where they can collect a fee every time we read or require us to renew licenses to continue reading in the future.

  12. #12
    ... with the High Command Lemurion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Wentworth Hall, Tellus
    Posts
    2,433

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by matthew_lane View Post
    I can answer that question. As things stand right now digital is not the future of comics. I know there are a really loud minority out there demanding that everything go digital, but as it stands its just not workable from any angle. The DRM, the pain in the arse to the local comic retalier & the barrier to entry that is purchasing a tablet/computer, a solid internet connection & a credit card.

    Maybe at some point it'll become the "future of comics" but at the moment its much like Virtual Reality was in the 1980;s... A pipe dream of what the future could possibly be like... as long as you don't think about it to much from a practical stand point.

    What digital gives us in convenience (or lazyness if you are happy being non PC about it), it loses in the joy of collecting, in the camererardery & feeling of community that a message board just can't replicate.
    If you look at the prevalence of piracy and even web comics it could be argued that the only reason digital is not the future of comics is because it's the present. I'm willing to bet that most of the series that Marvel has canceled recently had more digital than print readers. The problem is that most didn't pay for them.

    As it is, right now there are hundreds of millions of people world-wide who have a device they can use to buy and read digital comics in their pockets. Digital is already here - the issue now is how to make a business out of it.
    Anyone who thinks DC is bringing back the Silver Age doesn't know what the Silver Age is.

    There is no such word as "persay," it's per se, two words, from the Latin.

  13. #13

    Default

    Great article, Mr. Hibbs.

    The comparison you made between digital comics and books is far more apt than the standard comparison that gets made between comics and songs. A comic is not a song--one of the reasons why the $0.99 (or even $1.99) price-point does not work very well. And you're right that it's ludicrous to expect to attract very many new digital readers by confronting them with the serialized model that we have today. It would be much better to put more effort into digital trades and collections and can be downloaded all in one go.

    Quote Originally Posted by matthew_lane View Post
    I can answer that question. As things stand right now digital is not the future of comics. I know there are a really loud minority out there demanding that everything go digital, but as it stands its just not workable from any angle. The DRM, the pain in the arse to the local comic retalier & the barrier to entry that is purchasing a tablet/computer, a solid internet connection & a credit card.

    Maybe at some point it'll become the "future of comics" but at the moment its much like Virtual Reality was in the 1980;s... A pipe dream of what the future could possibly be like... as long as you don't think about it to much from a practical stand point.
    Exactly right. This utopian vision of millions of Americans downloading digital comics (all for the magically feasible price of $0.99 each, as the U.S. dollar declines) is akin to Virtual Reality and the notion of flying cars and hover-boards.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AppleJuiceJoe View Post
    I think Marvel is actually trying to "help" the DM retailer by giving them 2 products to sell for the same price. Marvel could just decide to sell digital copies at 0.99 (yeah right) or 1.99 or 2.99 (stop with the 3.99 already, good GAWD) bypassing the DM retailer and sharing sales with comixology and Apple instead. Digital comics are not coming in 10-15 years, nor will they be here soon, they are already here and retailers better be prepared for the fallout otherwise they will be joining Blockbuster, Borders, and Tower Records in our memories.

    My strategy as a buyer? I buy most of my comics from DCBS at 30-40% off. So a marvel 3.99 comic is actually 2.39. Now if I can sell that digital code for 0.99 my net comic cost for a 3.99 comic falls down to 1.40. Which is a very comfortable price point.
    Marvel is selling comics at $3.99 and yet they've still been having to lay people off. Don't tell me that a greater profit could be made if they just sold more comics at $2.99, because like it or not the sales figures show that $3.99 comics sell quite well. If Marvel wasn't making more of a profit, they'd drop the price of Avengers back to $2.99. But if they did that they would only gain a few hundred readers, not enough to justify losing the extra revenue from the $3.99 price.

    If you're only willing to play 2.39 or 1.40 for a comic, then it's like you're insisting on living in 2002 or 1993. It's 2011 and the price for the small dwindling hobby to be profitable is 2.99 and 3.99. If those prices aren't feasible, it just goes to show that the industry itself is much less healthy than the digital utopians think it is. To reiterate: Marvel is selling comics at $3.99 and they're still having to cut their workforce.

    Paper is NOT what's driving the cost of comics up. People like to think that the cost of paper is the reason for the high prices, but they're wrong. Heck, Marvel gives out a ton of free preview comics every month. They recently gave every LCS many complimentary copies of "Point One", which was a way oversized $6 comic. The comic didn't have a $6 price-point because of paper costs (they DOUBLED orders for free!), it had that high price-point because they had to pay the creators a decent wage. If you want cheaper comics, they'd have to be written and/or drawn by slave labor, and no one wants that.

    Quote Originally Posted by heroesmask View Post
    Digital is the way things are going to go, it may still take 10-15 years but it will go that way. Look at the music industry as a barometer. Who would have thought 10 or 15 years ago that CD's would be almost obsolete?
    LOTS of people predicted 15 years ago that digital was the future of music.

    Music has no physicality to it. Reading has physicality. Studies have been done showing that people who read the same text in digital remember less of it than those who read it physically. The digital interface itself prevents people from engaging as deeply with the material. This is a fact and many scientific studies have proven it. Digital leads to "shallow" perception and lower (on average) reading comprehension.

    That said, there are advantages for digital. It's just another option. It's great for archiving. I read digital comics sometimes when I'm too lazy to go to the store.

    But this idea that digital is "the future" is an oversimplification. It's such a simple-minded notion that has zero nuance to it. Digital isn't the future; digital is ALREADY here. Digital has been with us for a while now. Since 2004 or so, anyone who wanted to could get digital copies of comics for free (illegally). Many people did that and still decided that for the comics they really wanted to engage with in a deeper way, it was better to read paper comics.

    Really the flatness of the "digital is the future" way of thinking is very indicative of the minds of those whose brains are totally given to the digital medium. There is no depth to it, just a repeated meme, a slogan mouthed by the borg. "Digital is the future. Come be one of us. Kill your individuality. Lose the capacity for critical thought. Just go with the flow and give up all of your autonomy."

    But many people seem willing to give up depth of experience in order to live on the "cutting edge". They are very insecure people who fear nothing more than the thought of being considered "old fashioned". It doesn't matter if some of the "old-fashioned" ways were more healthy for society and promoted deeper thought; some people still want to turn off their brains simply because doing so makes them feel trendy.
    Last edited by DarkBeast; 11-18-2011 at 03:24 PM.

  15. #15
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I tend to agree that digital customers and print customers aren't the same people. For me i'm a reader, not a collector. I buy the digital because i DON'T WANT a printed copy. I have no desire to keep and store comics because i know i'll never read most of them again. I like the stories, i don't care about long boxes or back issues, or CGC collecting.

    I think its cool that marvel is trying to add some value with including the codes, but their execution is horrible. All that polybagging garbage is so not environmentally friendly or very responsible publishing practice. Shame on Marvel for creating more oil based garbage.

    Digital is the future and the right now. I hope that some of these lower selling 20k titles that are getting cancelled because they can't justify a print run, can go exclusive digital and maybe turn into a profitable thing. Once you eliminate the hard costs of printing and shipping, you're sales expectations can be lower.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •