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In Reply To
The Anti-Rob Liefeld

Subj: Re: Marvel reveals why they increased their comics
Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:51:41 pm EDT (Viewed 133 times)
Reply Subj: Marvel reveals why they increased their comics
Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:32:41 pm EDT (Viewed 57 times)

This isn't really surprising and will lead to the digital distribution of comics. It's also going to lead to a huge increase in comic "piracy". Comics are the music industry of the 90s.

From a business perspective, this is an awful move. While the key for any business is to increase (but not always maximize) profits, it's also important for businesses to increase their customer base. And here is the most important part: For periodical comics, increaseing the customer base and bringing in more readers is MORE important than maximizing profits. It's the same for most periodicals. Marvel is a business entirely dependent on repeat customers.

Marvel does have somewhat of a monopoly, they are the only place to go to read Spider-Man comics. But their profit margins for a comic are supposedly huge, reported in the NYT? to be about 38%. That's huge in business.

So now Marvel is entering into a death spiral. They can't increase readership because of cost. They can't get more advertising dollars because readership is low. And so on.

Now the solution is going to be digital distribution, whether legal or illegal. It automatically cuts out the retailers and distributors resulting in a huge decrease of costs. But also the printing and paper costs are gone as well.

As I said earlier, this is the music industry. People felt that they weren't getting their value from their purchases, so they pirated the songs off the internet for free. It's not exactly like the music industry for four key differences. 1) Comic readers in general are more tech savy than music listeners and it will be easier for them to download comics. 2) The culture of downloading is much different as it's much more commonplace today than it was 15 years ago. 3) Comic readers are much more loyal to their comics, more fanatic. While a music listener might just by stop buying CDs, a comic reader is going to have more trouble doing that. 4) There are alternative ways to listen to music instead of buying CDs, like listening to the radio or watching a music station, etc. For comics, there aren't other legal alternatives.

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