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In Reply To
Ed Love

Location: North Carolina
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: I disagree with any of that
Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 02:14:39 pm EDT (Viewed 48 times)
Reply Subj: Re: I don't see why
Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 09:42:53 am EDT (Viewed 53 times)


      Anyway, like newspapers, the best alternative is for digital comics.

    Not really. Digital doesn't make enough money to pay for itself. If digital does put an end to newspapers, you'll see a steep decline in news sources online because where do you think much of the news and content on the web comes from? People think online content should be free, very few are willing to actually pay for it. Advertising cuts the cost somewhat, but even that isn't enough to actually pay for the columnists, reporters, photographers, editors and the technicians and technology. Digital is a must as part of the newspaper entity in today's world, but it's like free refills or a/c at a restaurant. No one explicitly pays for it, it's expected as a bonus. When I worked for a paper, online was considered a positive growing cost, but only because most of their workers and content were already paid for by other departments. It was a bit frustrating to hear execs praising online for making money and then coming down on Classified sales for not when it was the Classified Salespeople that were making those sales that made Online the money.

That's all kind of BS. Digital in it's current form does make some money. For instance, the NYTimes on Kindle make the company a couple million dollars each year. But even that system is currently flawed. Why would anyone want to pay money for a single daily digital newspaper, when they can get that same information for free? The NYTimes doesn't even update it's newspaper throughout the day, despite the fact that a Kindle has an internet connection.

The ineventual destruction of the traditional newspaper won't mean much. I don't read a daily newspaper, because I can get all that information for free online. The only real advantage newspapers have is in local news, but that niche will be filled by local television stations at least.

The biggest problem newspapers have is their inability to adopt to new changes. Look how many newspapers went kicking and screaming when it came time to put up a website, reluctantly going along with it. Even today, most local newspaper websites are crap. Despite the rapid changes in our world, newspapers still think they can work off the same model as they did a century ago, and they can't.

iTunes was created by a computer company, without any real ties to the music industry. Even Longbox, the comic verions of iTunes, wasn't created by a comic company. It's a common problem in businesses where they aren't the ones to intiate new changes, new technologies, etc.

Digital versions of newspapers are going to have to make changes. They have to have updatability. They have to be ability to fulfill all the news needs of their audience. They have to be reasonably priced (determined by the customer), etc.

    I think Digital could be an important secondary revenue stream for comics if they can work out some of the kinks and maybe even an alternative for smaller publishers and iffy reprint books. But, I don't think it will ever make the money to actually cover the costs of paying the talent. I think it would probably be just a different loss-leader for the trade market but ultimately probably kill that as well and much of the industry as a whole as we'd see comic shops belly up across the country, so there'd be fewer risks in trades and collections being done and sold as there are even fewer outlets for them to be sold.

Digital comics are the future, there is no doubt about that. Any problems will eventually be worked out. The cost for Marvel of creating a comic right now is really low, say 75 cents. The rest of that $3.99 goes to the LCS, the distributor, and even publishing the comic. So Marvel can easily see a profit of 25 cents if they go with a 99 cents price point for a digital copy.

But there are other huge advantages. Suddenly any barriers to distribution are erased, where you can buy ANY back issue at any time. Scarcity of the product is no longer a concern. You can create a variable pricing model, where you change the price of an issue depending on what you want. New issues can be $1.29, while older ones are $.99. Buy six issues for $5. You will see a huge increase in readers from this.

The problem Marvel will face is competition. Suddenly a creator owned title like Invincible might be able to compete with a title like Spider-Man. Licensed comics would probably see a vast increase in sales. The audience will start to see a huge diversity, where suddenly you see younger readers.