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In Reply To
Ed Love

Location: North Carolina
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: Re: I disagree with all of that
Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 07:33:01 pm EDT (Viewed 43 times)
Reply Subj: Re: I disagree with all of that
Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 03:13:59 pm EDT (Viewed 50 times)

    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 goal of online and digital content isn't to recoup all costs, so NYTIMES on kindles don't have to support the full cost of the newspaper. You can't criticize something for not obtaining a goal it hasn't set out to do.

There are online sites that have their own staffs and basically do their own reporting. Look at the numerous sports websites that do this. A sports story is just as likely to be reported by Fanhouse first then by ESPN.

    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.

Online and digital are two different things here. People embraced iTunes, which while offering them a digital version of their music, also required payment. This model will eventually take place more prominently in tv shows (many of which are already availabe on itunes), movies, and comics.

Eventually with the news, people are going to be willing to pay for it, but it has to meet their demands. Problems of portability (mobile devices), distribution, payment, content, etc will have to be addressed. The biggest problem that newspaper has right now is that they don't know the answers to these questions. It's not suprising since it's a new field. Another huge problems newspapers face is that I don't see them having a huge competitive advantage over radio and (especially) television.

    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.

Comeon, during the 90s when the internet emerged, newspapers went kicking and screaming into having their own websites. Again, not surprising since they didn't see the immediate financial benefit from it. Again, even today, most local newspaper sites are crap.


      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...

No they don't. On Kindle, the NYT isn't updated throughout the day. Difference between online and digital. Online is a website. Digital is an mp3.

    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 all paper based products are going to be dead as a periodical in the next 5-10 years. Books might last longer, but only because they fulfill different needs. By the time portable devices (like a 10 inch iPhone) are made accessible to the masses, digital distribution will rule. The benefits to digital distribution are just too great.

    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.

Considering that all these things are already being done for free by "pirates", I'm not sure the cost is too great. The quality of "pirated comics" already surpasses what Marvel is doing with their DCU service.

    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.

Scanning and storing isn't going to be a big issue. Every comic published since the 90s is going to be available as digital files, and that includes any material that has been reprinted in collections. For Marvel, all they have to do to put Kraven's Last Hunt online is to package it into a readable file and store it. That's not difficult.

I can find the Living Colossus online right now if I wanted to.

As long as the files are in a standard picture format (like a jpeg), any reader will be able to read it. Compatibility won't be an issue.

    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.

Multiple points here. Honestly, you don't seem to know much about this area. I would recommend reading the Robot6 blog at CBR at the very least. You are just completely wrong on this subject. And I know you think you are right. But indy creators are leaving behind the traditional business model and embracing a new one with digital content. Maybe it's just your age.

The technological knowledge needed to put your comic online is minimal, and not an issue at all. Package jpeg files together, and host it on a site. Distribution systems like Longbox makes it even easier.

The competition model changes drastically. The barriers of entry to getting your product into the hands of the consumer are greatly reduced. No longer does a creator have to worry about getting his book into the local LCS, a huge problem for any non Marvel/DC comic. The ease of a reader getting another issue is simplified, all it takes is a few clicks on a mouse.

Right now, there are huge barriers for both bringing in new and young readers to comics, as well as increasing sales for current comics. No one wants to go to LCS, but being able to buy a copy of an issue cheaply online is a huge benefit. You get the issue almost instantly. The price is greatly reduced. Being able to "sample" different comics is easy to do. It even has a huge advantage in portability, where you can read almost any issue instantly, no matter where you are.

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