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Post By
Ed Love

Location: North Carolina
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
In Reply To

Subj: Re: I disagree with all of that
Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 03:13:59 pm EDT (Viewed 51 times)
Reply Subj: I disagree with any of that
Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 02:14:39 pm EDT (Viewed 47 times)

    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.

Read what I said. I didn't say it didn't make money. What online and digital doesn't do is make money that sustains itself WITHOUT the original product. Online news sources do not make enough money to hire their own news staffs, they are dependent on outside sources. Will there be online news sources if newspapers die. Sure. But, not as many and most will be offshoots of your radio and television stations.

    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.

And that's the nub of the problem that I am pointing out. People equate online with being free. But online advertising revenues don't make enough money to pay for a full news staff.

    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.

Don't know of a single one. As I said, we embraced it enthusiastically. We even were an ISP provider to help prompt local people to get online, get email and read the paper online. We were one of the pioneers of it.

Just take it from someone that has actually worked in the newspaper industry for the past 20 years to know what he's talking about. Online wasn't that big of a threat, it was opportunity. There were small hits to the bottom line as websites like Monster (and many flash in the pan) offered Help Wanted ads for free. As I noted, our subscription base INCREASED along with the rise of more and more online sites. The big hits that have newspapers scrambling aren't from online but the economy in general. The revenue model newspapers are built on aren't equipped for this bad of a sustained economy and it's not just the newspapers suffering. You might have a point if the newspapers were suffering and going under right and left while the economy was actually going good, the auto industry, the real estate industry and the retail industry was growing.

    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.

Hmm. Most digital versions I've seen do meet those exact goals. The problem is the "reasonably priced" aspect is the consumer wants it free. That's fine as long as the digital newspapers are a secondary source meant to be just one arm of the enterprise. When it's the sole arm...

I think what we are going to see is the death of the big newspapers. Niche newspapers will survive as will a couple seen as being "national newspapers." Small FREE weeklies will survive, with their focus on niche news, local advertising and with only one or two full-time staff, the rest being a couple of free-lancers. But your mid-sized city dailies may never bounce back.


      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.

Right. Because there's no extra costs for expensive servers, computers, upgrades, security, IT Staff, computer graphic staff, etc. There won't be any loss in advertising revenue. No money spent on actually advertising their comics, websites and how to get digital the digital comics and what readers they work with, especially as all your comic book stores more or less go out of business.

    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.

This is already done at the local level with print comics. Buy any back issue you want? And that's not going to cost a lot of money that won't see any immediate returns, scanning and storing all of that digital information. None of that is free. Is the company really going to rush out and scan in those issues of It, the Living Colossus any time soon? Suddenly a new reader comes out that won't be able to read all your old digital comics, or a higher def and better graphic card so all the old comics will need to be redone with higher and better resolutions, etc.

    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.

Only if the creator has the computer saavy to know how to get his comic online or if he signs with a company that will have as good a online distribution deal with the readers as Marvel. He'll have the same problem that he has today. Is anyone going to want to spend the money on his title vs spending it on Spider-Man? Moving it to digital doesn't change the competition model at all. Don't know how it's going to translate to younger readers. It's the youth market that is growing up with the expectation that their music and stuff gotten online should be free and see no problem sharing their downloads with others. And, you still have to make them want to search for, find and READ the comics. As opposed to just playing a video game or listening to their music and texting their friends. You'll still be competing for their time and dollar against the same competition as always. They can read the comic in their hand-held device or they can play the interactive "Medal of Honor" for a couple of hours... Just being digital doesn't address that problem at all.

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