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  1. #106
    Unreasonably Opinionated Conway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadenewt View Post
    Marvel offers a Digital Library for a monthly subscription of $10 a month but the books are about a year or two behind current and it's spotty in spots. Problem with it is it's flash dependent so to my knowledge you can't read the books on tablets only on computer that's online. I think they are currently testing an Ipad version of the library though so hopefully soon it will be available to anyone interested.
    See that's a good idea, the Rhapsody approach. A company recognizing it's using last century's business strategies and adapting.

    And no one is selling more copies than Batman, but eventually just being Batman isn't going to be enough. At $4 an issue Batman is going to price himself out of the market pretty quick. You know Kid Rock has released 4 albums since the iTunes store debuted and only one of those made platinum because he thought $10 an album wasn't enough.

    My LCS treats comics like a secondary product, their money is made off of Strategic Card Games, Clix, and selling energy drinks to the leagues that play there. Budget, OnCue, and Borders went under, Barnes and Nobel is scrambling and Hastings is changing their market strategy to closer match Best Buy. It isn't DC or WB's problem to worry about LCS's. The only way that Disney and TimeWarner can loose readers is by being undercut on the market.

  2. #107
    Tai'shar Manetheren Jadenewt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conway View Post
    See that's a good idea, the Rhapsody approach. A company recognizing it's using last century's business strategies and adapting.

    And no one is selling more copies than Batman, but eventually just being Batman isn't going to be enough. At $4 an issue Batman is going to price himself out of the market pretty quick. You know Kid Rock has released 4 albums since the iTunes store debuted and only one of those made platinum because he thought $10 an album wasn't enough.

    My LCS treats comics like a secondary product, their money is made off of Strategic Card Games, Clix, and selling energy drinks to the leagues that play there. Budget, OnCue, and Borders went under, Barnes and Nobel is scrambling and Hastings is changing their market strategy to closer match Best Buy. It isn't DC or WB's problem to worry about LCS's. The only way that Disney and TimeWarner can loose readers is by being undercut on the market.
    So again with the anecdotal evidence. It's true that many Comic shops have been forced to diversify their products after the collapse of the comic market. But most still worry about how comics are priced and many refuse to even acknowledge there is a digital market at all (other than selling stuff on ebay) With their diversification they also have developed less of a dependence on Comics so it would even be easier for them to boycott a publisher if the publisher made a move they didn't like or simply drop new books all together. If shops simply go to games and close out books or only deal in back issues then it shrinks the direct market (which is still publishers bread and butter). While the digital market has a much larger potential pool than comic shops the digital comic market is still too soft for comic publishers to depend on. Eventually with nurturing and time they may have the ability to renegotiate pricing on books and figure out a new model. But as it stands now it's just not there and to suggest that they simply undercut their market to hopefully nurture a new one just really isn't sound business strategy. Using music and movie examples really doesn't work for comics because many readers have a collector mentality instead of a reader mentality. In other words they want to collect and save them all and they really can't scratch that itch with a digital book.
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  3. #108
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadenewt View Post
    So again with the anecdotal evidence. It's true that many Comic shops have been forced to diversify their products after the collapse of the comic market. But most still worry about how comics are priced and many refuse to even acknowledge there is a digital market at all (other than selling stuff on ebay) With their diversification they also have developed less of a dependence on Comics so it would even be easier for them to boycott a publisher if the publisher made a move they didn't like or simply drop new books all together. If shops simply go to games and close out books or only deal in back issues then it shrinks the direct market (which is still publishers bread and butter). While the digital market has a much larger potential pool than comic shops the digital comic market is still too soft for comic publishers to depend on. Eventually with nurturing and time they may have the ability to renegotiate pricing on books and figure out a new model. But as it stands now it's just not there and to suggest that they simply undercut their market to hopefully nurture a new one just really isn't sound business strategy. Using music and movie examples really doesn't work for comics because many readers have a collector mentality instead of a reader mentality. In other words they want to collect and save them all and they really can't scratch that itch with a digital book.
    Agreed. The most a comic shop is really probably going to do is just cut back on the extra copies they order of books - they could have a pre-order only policy. I believe at least one retailer who was opposed to Before Watchmen said that was how they were going to handle it. And I agree that comics aren't a big enough business to drop anything that is currently making them money, just to take the chance that they are going to recoup it elsewhere. Whatever they do will have to be in-addition-to the current working models.

    I think the other differences between the music example and the comics example is that music is already a big part of so many peoples' lives. They didn't have to get people to start listening to music, just change the way they bought it and listened to it. Comics doesn't even have enough people buying them now to begin splitting their audience that way. Plus, music had Apple manufacturing the Ipod specifically for the purpose of getting music, so every Ipod ad was effectively also an ad for ITunes and in turn the music companies. Nobody is going to promote the IPad as a comic book reading device, because there aren't enough comic book readers out there for them to feel like that should be the focus of the advertising.
    The DC relaunch was successful and was executed in what was most likely the best way it could given restrictions we wouldn't know about. No, your idea wouldn't have worked. Now move on.

  4. #109
    Unreasonably Opinionated Conway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadenewt View Post
    So again with the anecdotal evidence. It's true that many Comic shops have been forced to diversify their products after the collapse of the comic market. But most still worry about how comics are priced and many refuse to even acknowledge there is a digital market at all (other than selling stuff on ebay) With their diversification they also have developed less of a dependence on Comics so it would even be easier for them to boycott a publisher if the publisher made a move they didn't like or simply drop new books all together. If shops simply go to games and close out books or only deal in back issues then it shrinks the direct market (which is still publishers bread and butter). While the digital market has a much larger potential pool than comic shops the digital comic market is still too soft for comic publishers to depend on. Eventually with nurturing and time they may have the ability to renegotiate pricing on books and figure out a new model. But as it stands now it's just not there and to suggest that they simply undercut their market to hopefully nurture a new one just really isn't sound business strategy. Using music and movie examples really doesn't work for comics because many readers have a collector mentality instead of a reader mentality. In other words they want to collect and save them all and they really can't scratch that itch with a digital book.
    It is an expired business model. The industry can't survive on collectors. If you want new readers, you have to go digital. Arguing with that is like arguing that the iPod is a fad. Waiting for the market to find you is how you lose your market share. You feel like it's all anecdotal, but every time someone asks the digital question in a forum, the first response is "they cost too much". That is consumer research.

    You know why Sony and everyone else (including TimeWarner) agreed to Steve Jobs' lower prices, because their product was being stolen by people that wanted it in digital form. That is the same thing that is starting to happen now. Either you take less or you get nothing, it isn't rocket science

  5. #110
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conway View Post
    It is an expired business model. The industry can't survive on collectors. If you want new readers, you have to go digital. Arguing with that is like arguing that the iPod is a fad. Waiting for the market to find you is how you lose your market share. You feel like it's all anecdotal, but every time someone asks the digital question in a forum, the first response is "they cost too much". That is consumer research.

    You know why Sony and everyone else (including TimeWarner) agreed to Steve Jobs' lower prices, because their product was being stolen by people that wanted it in digital form. That is the same thing that is starting to happen now. Either you take less or you get nothing, it isn't rocket science
    Nobody is arguing that digital isn't the future. They are just saying that digital isn't "next year." It has got to have some time to build up and get a "rep" before you can leverage it.
    The DC relaunch was successful and was executed in what was most likely the best way it could given restrictions we wouldn't know about. No, your idea wouldn't have worked. Now move on.

  6. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennsim View Post
    On the other hand, with digital as a distribution method, one could argue that novels could start being serialized again more easily, so that the publishers can get a better feel for the popularity of books and get advance revenue.
    No. You know why? No book readers are stupid enough to put up with a small fragment of a novel anymore. Put up with, note, not WANT. The only people in the world are the diminishing number of monthly comic readers. BUt for some reason comic publishers are sticking with this archaic publication scheme.

    Hell, I won't even do it with comics. And it was the reason I stopped buying comics for 20 years, after that stupid disaster with Marvel Epic Akira, waiting years for the last few issues. I won't even read a trilogy of books until they are done.

  7. #112
    Tai'shar Manetheren Jadenewt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conway View Post
    It is an expired business model. The industry can't survive on collectors. If you want new readers, you have to go digital. Arguing with that is like arguing that the iPod is a fad. Waiting for the market to find you is how you lose your market share. You feel like it's all anecdotal, but every time someone asks the digital question in a forum, the first response is "they cost too much". That is consumer research.

    You know why Sony and everyone else (including TimeWarner) agreed to Steve Jobs' lower prices, because their product was being stolen by people that wanted it in digital form. That is the same thing that is starting to happen now. Either you take less or you get nothing, it isn't rocket science
    And right along with it you will see people say "if comics go full digital I'll stop reading". You also get the same "they cost too much" when you ask a question about why comic books in general don't have a wider market. It's constantly mentioned that their entrainment value isn't on par with their cost. It's a simple reality of the business. There are always going to be some that feel that they aren't getting equal value from their expenditure. People still pirate digital music even though the prices have dropped. So the price drop hasn't prevented piracy in music. Nor have the price drops helped video piracy look at the shutdown of Megaupload last year and how the episodes of Young Justice & Green Lantern that were pulled from Itunes were available on Youtube within a day. To think that dropping price will prevent piracy is naive at best.

    Look at Shonen Jumps model they went totally digital about a year ago and lost a number of customers because of it. They have since had to offer a library setup to get more readers and a name change, with a promise of delivering fresh content within a week of the books being published in Japan and still it hasn't prevented piracy. Manga Piracy is very high in the US.
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  8. #113
    Unreasonably Opinionated Conway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadenewt View Post
    And right along with it you will see people say "if comics go full digital I'll stop reading". You also get the same "they cost too much" when you ask a question about why comic books in general don't have a wider market. It's constantly mentioned that their entrainment value isn't on par with their cost. It's a simple reality of the business. There are always going to be some that feel that they aren't getting equal value from their expenditure. People still pirate digital music even though the prices have dropped. So the price drop hasn't prevented piracy in music. Nor have the price drops helped video piracy look at the shutdown of Megaupload last year and how the episodes of Young Justice & Green Lantern that were pulled from Itunes were available on Youtube within a day. To think that dropping price will prevent piracy is naive at best.

    Look at Shonen Jumps model they went totally digital about a year ago and lost a number of customers because of it. They have since had to offer a library setup to get more readers and a name change, with a promise of delivering fresh content within a week of the books being published in Japan and still it hasn't prevented piracy. Manga Piracy is very high in the US.
    No one is suggesting Full Digital anytime in the next decade. You don't stop selling to the old crowd, you just start selling to the new one.

    Costs are a problem, digital solves that problem. It considerably lowers costs, increasing the market. Comics are the only industry that hasn't passed the lower costs on to their customers.

    You will never stop piracy. It was a problem when the VHS came out and it will always be a problem. The music industry realized the best way to fight the problem was to provide the non pirated version to the people that are willing to buy it, at a price they are willing to pay. You don't fight piracy by making it harder to get the product. That just makes piracy more lucrative.

  9. #114
    Tai'shar Manetheren Jadenewt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobe1969 View Post
    No. You know why? No book readers are stupid enough to put up with a small fragment of a novel anymore. Put up with, note, not WANT. The only people in the world are the diminishing number of monthly comic readers. BUt for some reason comic publishers are sticking with this archaic publication scheme.

    Hell, I won't even do it with comics. And it was the reason I stopped buying comics for 20 years, after that stupid disaster with Marvel Epic Akira, waiting years for the last few issues. I won't even read a trilogy of books until they are done.
    Actually Serialization of Novels has become more popular again because of the popularity of eReaders. The Return of the Serial Novel
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  10. #115
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conway View Post
    Costs are a problem, digital solves that problem. It considerably lowers costs, increasing the market. Comics are the only industry that hasn't passed the lower costs on to their customers.
    Which brings us back to you only assuming that digital has lower costs, and even if they did lower the price that increased sales from digital would make up for the damage done to the direct market system. We can go around and around on this all day.
    The DC relaunch was successful and was executed in what was most likely the best way it could given restrictions we wouldn't know about. No, your idea wouldn't have worked. Now move on.

  11. #116
    Cyclops Is Right Kiryu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadenewt View Post
    To think that dropping price will prevent piracy is naive at best.
    So naive, in fact, that some very successful actors and directors are investing in this very method through Netflix, which is fast becoming a place for must-see-TV that's not on TV. In fact this line of thought led to Netflix investing 2.5 billion dollars in creating now content to make available as part of their already well priced streaming service. Because Netflix has the product I want, available when I want it, and at a reasonable price. In fact, that's the same quote Kevin Spacey used when promoting he and David Fincher's new Netflix TV show.

    "Hollywood has the opportunity to learn what the music industry never did. Give people what they want, when they want it, and at a reasonable price and they won't steal it."

    Now is that absolute? Of course not. However consider how many people steal because the want the entertainment but can't afford it. The more you moved the needle towards "Cheaper" the more people on the bubble about stealing or buying you will convert. Because there will always be more people able to afford something at a low price then at a high one.

    All comics have been doing since I have read them is take a bigger piece of an ever shrinking pie. It's led to me buying way less comics and not because my financial situation changed. I used to drop $20 a week on the big two. Now I don't even do that much a month.
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  12. #117
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiryu View Post
    So naive, in fact, that some very successful actors and directors are investing in this very method through Netflix, which is fast becoming a place for must-see-TV that's not on TV. In fact this line of thought led to Netflix investing 2.5 billion dollars in creating now content to make available as part of their already well priced streaming service. Because Netflix has the product I want, available when I want it, and at a reasonable price. In fact, that's the same quote Kevin Spacey used when promoting he and David Fincher's new Netflix TV show.

    "Hollywood has the opportunity to learn what the music industry never did. Give people what they want, when they want it, and at a reasonable price and they won't steal it."

    Now is that absolute? Of course not. However consider how many people steal because the want the entertainment but can't afford it. The more you moved the needle towards "Cheaper" the more people on the bubble about stealing or buying you will convert. Because there will always be more people able to afford something at a low price then at a high one.

    All comics have been doing since I have read them is take a bigger piece of an ever shrinking pie. It's led to me buying way less comics and not because my financial situation changed. I used to drop $20 a week on the big two. Now I don't even do that much a month.
    It will be great if/when they can lower the price. That doesn't mean it's something they can do right now or any time soon.
    The DC relaunch was successful and was executed in what was most likely the best way it could given restrictions we wouldn't know about. No, your idea wouldn't have worked. Now move on.

  13. #118
    Tai'shar Manetheren Jadenewt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conway View Post
    No one is suggesting Full Digital anytime in the next decade. You don't stop selling to the old crowd, you just start selling to the new one.

    Costs are a problem, digital solves that problem. It considerably lowers costs, increasing the market. Comics are the only industry that hasn't passed the lower costs on to their customers.

    You will never stop piracy. It was a problem when the VHS came out and it will always be a problem. The music industry realized the best way to fight the problem was to provide the non pirated version to the people that are willing to buy it, at a price they are willing to pay. You don't fight piracy by making it harder to get the product. That just makes piracy more lucrative.
    Agreed Piracy will always be a problem no matter what publishers do short of giving their merchandise away (and even then there were pirated copies of the free comic book day books online even before comixology released them)

    Digital could eventually be in a position to leverage for better pricing (hopefully) but it's not in that position now. Also as I said previously we don't even know the details of pricing that are stated in the Diamond contracts. But until that time comes it's just not a viable business model to undercut your main outlet in hopes of growing a new one. If Digital can claim a 50% share of the market then maybe they would have a leg to stand on. But right now a DC rep claimed recently that digital was around a 10% share of their market and Kirkman claimed it was sometimes up to a 25% share. Until digital releases more firm numbers we simply won't know where they stand in relation to the market. But it is growing and that is a great thing for the market in general and hopefully will bring better news for us customers that actually enjoy digital.

    The other big complaint about digital is lack of ownership of the book which is another thing that will have to be figured out. Lack of it in no way prevents piracy so basically it's just something that comforts the DC executives more than anything else.
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  14. #119
    Unreasonably Opinionated Conway's Avatar
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    Now we're talking circles around each other. You say wait, I say you'll lose the market. I say lower the costs, you say don't undercut your current market. It really is a tough place for DC to be.

    I think that the market will eventually bring prices down, if DC will do it before they cost themselves a large share of the market is the only question. In the end we all agree digital is the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiryu View Post
    In fact, that's the same quote Kevin Spacey used when promoting he and David Fincher's new Netflix TV show.

    "Hollywood has the opportunity to learn what the music industry never did. Give people what they want, when they want it, and at a reasonable price and they won't steal it."
    The answer is never denying the product, or raising the price.

  15. #120
    Tai'shar Manetheren Jadenewt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiryu View Post
    So naive, in fact, that some very successful actors and directors are investing in this very method through Netflix, which is fast becoming a place for must-see-TV that's not on TV. In fact this line of thought led to Netflix investing 2.5 billion dollars in creating now content to make available as part of their already well priced streaming service. Because Netflix has the product I want, available when I want it, and at a reasonable price. In fact, that's the same quote Kevin Spacey used when promoting he and David Fincher's new Netflix TV show.

    "Hollywood has the opportunity to learn what the music industry never did. Give people what they want, when they want it, and at a reasonable price and they won't steal it."

    Now is that absolute? Of course not. However consider how many people steal because the want the entertainment but can't afford it. The more you moved the needle towards "Cheaper" the more people on the bubble about stealing or buying you will convert. Because there will always be more people able to afford something at a low price then at a high one.

    All comics have been doing since I have read them is take a bigger piece of an ever shrinking pie. It's led to me buying way less comics and not because my financial situation changed. I used to drop $20 a week on the big two. Now I don't even do that much a month.
    Well we will have to wait and see how Netflix exclusive episodes work out for them. They've been regaining quite a bit since they undercut themselves by trying to split off their DVD division. But I'd be willing to bet that even those episodes will find their way to pirate sites within hours of being posted on the site because only a quarter of the US viewing audience (about 28 million people compared to 110 million households with televisions) actually subscribe to netflix and only a portion of those 28 million subscribe to their streaming service (I'm a netflix subscriber and I don't use their streaming service) but we'll see how it goes.
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