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  1. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    If it doesn't matter what format, then it also doesn't matter when you read it, on release or 6 months later, the story still the same, so why would I pay for individual issues when I can subscribe to DC Universe or Marvel Unlimited and read everything I want for much less money, I just have to wait a few months after release, and since I tend to trade wait anyways (except for the handful of titles I want to support-mostly creator-owned stuff), as I am a reader not a collector (or speculator), it makes absolutely zero sense for me as a consumer to buy individual digital issues at any price when I can get much more value for my dollar by subscribing to one of the digital subscription platforms.

    And as I posted elsewhere here , in a digital only release has to bear a much larger burden of the creative production costs, so lowering the price on them might not feasible unless lowering prices is going to raise purchases exponentially as it has to recoup revenue loss from physical sales AND sales of ad space in print books (which advertiser will not pay for digital circulation). If you lower the price by half, you need to double what sales were for both digital and print as you have to make up for the revue lost-ad sales mostly covered printing costs, so your digital sales still have to cover all creator page rates, editorial salaries, production department-creating and formatting digital files for distribution, marketing, etc.

    You are not going to achieve that by simply shifting all print to digital and slashing prices on digital product. There are a lot of production costs that sit behind the curtain and fans never see them and never account for them when they are giving business advice to publishers.

    -M
    I'm not giving business advice to publishers. I'm telling you my opinion. I think digital is the inevitable future of comic books, yes. But I also believe there's a strong probability that, outside of independent publishing here and there, comic books are heading for extinction, especially as monthly periodicals.

  2. #122
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    I'm not giving business advice to publishers. I'm telling you my opinion. I think digital is the inevitable future of comic books, yes. But I also believe there's a strong probability that, outside of independent publishing here and there, comic books are heading for extinction, especially as monthly periodicals.
    The logical fallacy here is that people equate the comic industry with monthly periodicals. The comic business is selling stories using panel & pages, pictures & words to tell the story. The way it is packaged and sold has changed over time. Monthly periodicals (as opposed to quarterly, bi-monthly, 8 times a year, etc.) has only been the norm for the last 30 years of the 80+ year industry. Before that, other publishing frequencies were more common than monthly. Monthly books before that time were as often as not anthology titles like say Action Comics where Superman made up 13 of 64+ pages each month. The format of delivery of those stories have constantly evolved and changed since the inception of comics. As early as the 1960s publishers were experimenting with book collections of comics, strips at first but even in the 70s we see Fireside books, Tempo Books, and Pocket Books putting out hardcover and paperback collections of Marvel, DC, EC and other comic publishers. We see publishers constantly experimenting with price and format of the periodicals as well, as many newsstands did not want to carry comics as they were too cheap to pay for the space and labor they required to sell them, thus DC experimented with 100 page giant,s 60 page giants, the dollar book line in the 70s just before the Implosion etc. and the loss of newsstands has as much to do with vendors choosing not to carry comics as it did with anything else. Comics didn't go direct only because they wanted to, but because in many cases it was the only avenue to market they had left.

    Right now the fastest growing segment of the comic industry is the sale of book length GNs in the young adult market. It is the fastest growing segment in the book trade overall and saw almost 20% growth in 2019. Meanwhile, the direct market has become a niche market and single issue length packages of comics (i.e. monthly issues either in print or digital) have become a niche product. And as a niche product, it's pricing structure is not comparable to that of a mass market product. Niche products cost more because economy of scale makes production costs higher and limited audience requires higher prices to cover production costs. People like to use inflation indexes to say comic prices have grown disproportionately with other products, however the switch form a mass market product to a niche product makes the inflation index irrelevant as you are comparing two different products in two different markets when you use it to compare comics then and now. Comics are priced the way they are now because they are a niche product and no longer a mass market product. The switch to digital will not suddenly make comics a mass market product again, so pricing structures are not going to change just because they switch to digital, and slashing digital prices is not going to generate enough extra sales to change it's niche market status.

    The future may be digital, but it is not single issue digital sales. If/when the comic industry transitions to an all digital delivery system of its product, the way the product is packaged and sold will transition as well. The switch to digital will do more to end single issue sales than the shrinking of the direct market has. As the market changes, so does the business model and that means reevaluating how you deliver your product (i.e. stories told in panels and pages using words and pictures) to the market. The industry is evolving and the transition will be difficult. It has been evolving for the last few years, but the current situation is forcing the hand of many to speed the transition or to scramble for ways to keep the flow of product to customers viable in the short term as the best path forward in the transition is determined.

    -M
    Comic fans get the comics their buying habits deserve.

  3. #123
    Fantastic Member Maestro 216's Avatar
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    Nothing will be the same for comics when this is over

  4. #124
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    I do read digital comics-I have Marvel Unlimited, DC Universe and access to Hoopla though my library. I have no issue for paying for access to a library of titles to read via a subscription service. However, I will not pay for digital copies of individual comics or trades. If I am buying something individually, I want a physical copy of it (and I do maintain a small pull list at my lcs for books or creators I want to support). I also do not buy individual digital copies of books, movies, or music though I still buy physical copies of such. I do however pay for access to libraries of these things digitally, just not individual copies, and I likely never will. If comics move to digital only, they will need to reconsider how they bring their product to market-formats, price, frequency, etc. Trying to take the direct market model and directly translating it to a digital marketplace won't work. It hasn't really worked thus far, and the sudden loss of physical print copies won't make it succeed as it doesn't address the obstacles to success that exist. If they are going to go all digital at any point, it will require a rethinking of the entire industry if it is to succeed, not just doing the same thing in a different place.


    -M
    I'm very much with you on this.

    I have no problem paying for a library of content, but individual digital items are not for me. I've bought floppies of creators I want to support, and read most other stuff digitally for a while now but am trying to make the switch. I'm not really keen on the comic shops in my area, and space is a big issue. I don't like "collecting" objects, but I do very much like the feeling of a book in my hand and having a tangible copy to look back on.

    I guess I have to find a nice, solid balance- like all things in life.
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 03-25-2020 at 04:20 PM.

  5. #125
    Extraordinary Member Robotman's Avatar
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    I love the idea that Gail Simone and others have thrown around of DC and Marvel doing another big crossover when this is all over to help the industry get back on its feet. Though I highly doubt even a global pandemic and the death of the industry would make Disney and WB want to work together.

  6. #126
    Mighty Member Vampire Savior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    If it doesn't matter what format, then it also doesn't matter when you read it, on release or 6 months later, the story still the same, so why would I pay for individual issues when I can subscribe to DC Universe or Marvel Unlimited and read everything I want for much less money, I just have to wait a few months after release, and since I tend to trade wait anyways (except for the handful of titles I want to support-mostly creator-owned stuff), as I am a reader not a collector (or speculator), it makes absolutely zero sense for me as a consumer to buy individual digital issues at any price when I can get much more value for my dollar by subscribing to one of the digital subscription platforms.

    And as I posted elsewhere here , in a digital only release has to bear a much larger burden of the creative production costs, so lowering the price on them might not feasible unless lowering prices is going to raise purchases exponentially as it has to recoup revenue loss from physical sales AND sales of ad space in print books (which advertiser will not pay for digital circulation). If you lower the price by half, you need to double what sales were for both digital and print as you have to make up for the revue lost-ad sales mostly covered printing costs, so your digital sales still have to cover all creator page rates, editorial salaries, production department-creating and formatting digital files for distribution, marketing, etc.
    You're not factoring in that the companies will no longer have to pay to print the monthly floppies. How much money will they save on that? I do not know, but I'm confident it would be substantial for them. Regarding ad revenue, I bet these companies make pennies on that these days.

    As for the subscription format through an app, I see that as digital, too. So, it's more or less representing the same thing to me. Digital is digital.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire Savior View Post
    You're not factoring in that the companies will no longer have to pay to print the monthly floppies. How much money will they save on that? I do not know, but I'm confident it would be substantial for them. Regarding ad revenue, I bet these companies make pennies on that these days.

    As for the subscription format through an app, I see that as digital, too. So, it's more or less representing the same thing to me. Digital is digital.


    https://www.alternacomics.com/advertising

    Ad Sizes and Costs

    1/4 page (3.31 x 5.1) - $25
    1/2 page (6.625 x 5.1) - $65
    Full page (6.625 x 10.2) - $100
    Inside Back Cover (6.625 x 10.2) - $125
    Inside Front Cover (6.625 x 10.2) - $150
    Back Cover (6.625 x 10.2) - $200
    Now mind you Alterna books average 3K-6K.

    I would suspect DC would be 2-3 times higher.

    Although they promote their own stuff more than anything else. Looking at Batman & OUtsiders

    12 DC related ads.
    1 for Kupert school
    1 for Metv
    1 for Wonder Con

    versus Superboy 100 (2002)

    8 food ads
    1 movie (Scooby Doo)
    1 for Harry Potter DVDS
    1 for Batman dvd

    Superman Man of Steel 43 (1995)
    1Clearasil
    1 NBA JaM
    1 How to Draw
    5 for dc titles
    1 for Flash statue
    1 for DC subscriptions

  8. #128
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    New fans can like old characters too...
    Yes but, they aren't stridently attached to old characters like, old fans are. To them all these characters are new.

  9. #129
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maestro 216 View Post
    Nothing will be the same for comics when this is over
    There's a rumour that Diamond's monopoly is toast.

    From Reddit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Kohato
    Word on the street is Marvel is looking to side step their contract with Diamond while diamond is unable to fulfill their obligations (in contract terms). They're contacting LCSs that are still open and offering to direct ship next week's books (and presumably further out)
    Disney owns Hachette Books, so they don't need Diamond any more. And Diamond is in breach of contract. If this is true, Disney's lawyers may be able to end the monopoly!
    https://www.reddit.com/r/comicbooks/...2_can_do_this/

    The Reddit thread was originally talking about this:
    Appreciation Thread Indexes
    Marvel | Spider-Man | X-Men | NEW!! DC Comics | Batman | Superman | Wonder Woman

  10. #130
    Astonishing Member Gaastra's Avatar
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    Looks like dc is trying to lure kids back in with dc camp!

    https://www.bleedingcool.com/2020/03...irus-shut-ins/

  11. #131
    Astonishing Member cranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    Yeah, I think people who make the statement "if they move all digital I'm out" are more speculators than fans. I stand by that because if you're a fan of the universe or characters, then I can't see how it matters how you read them.
    Then you have not bothered to read any of the many posts here with explanations from people about why they will not read digital. Or you have and decided they are lying.

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robotman View Post
    I love the idea that Gail Simone and others have thrown around of DC and Marvel doing another big crossover when this is all over to help the industry get back on its feet. Though I highly doubt even a global pandemic and the death of the industry would make Disney and WB want to work together.
    Oh, I don't think THAT particular issue would be a problem. I don't think either one would have a problem working together in a time like this to save all or part of the industry. And Disney at least is not having a good time. They've had to seek billions in a debt issue to cover their cash flows, which are nearly shut down with the current situation.

    I hope LCS's and physical floppies don't go away. Never tried digital comics myself beyond a few early abortive efforts as I didn't like how those issues presented on my tablet. Just didn't look good enough. And on a phone? I'm curious, what are the issues still with reading digital? Why would I want it, and why would I not want it? Cause I'm thinking there might be a few issues. Yes, I've seen the complaints, but I'm kind of curious as what the executive briefing on the issue might be? Offhand, I can think of one huge issue, the cost. Not even of the content itself, but rather the cost of a suitable platform to view it on. Not everyone can afford an I Pad or other tablet for example, of sufficient size to view it properly.
    Last edited by achilles; 03-26-2020 at 06:01 AM.

  13. #133

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    With those fans, I stand by what I said regarding them being more speculators than fans. Sorry if that ruffles some feathers but it's the truth.
    Lean the difference between truth and opinion.

    Two of my favorite characters (Luke Cage and Iron Fist) have had digital-first series over the past few years that I chose not to read digital and wait for the collection. Injustice was (I feel) one of DC's best books over the past few years. I didn't read it digitally but in collected form. If those collected forms didn't come out, I would have never read them. Is that because I felt those collections would be worth money one day? Of course not. It's because I don't like the digital format. I find it annoying to read it that way.

    I do the same thing with "normal" books. I have a Kindle. I can count on one hand how many books I've read on it, but I have bookshelves filled with physical books. Is it because I feel those books are worth money? No. It's because I don't prefer reading books on a tablet.

    I spend all day looking at a computer screen for my job. When I relax at home and read I don't want to keep staring at a screen.
    Last Read: Zatanna and the House of Secrets
    Monthly Pull List: Action Comics, Batman, Daredevil, Detective Comics, Doctor Doom, The Flash, Legion of Superheroes, Lois Lane, Runaways, Shazam!, Strange Adventures, Superman, Young Justice

  14. #134
    Astonishing Member Clark_Kent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achilles View Post
    Oh, I don't think THAT particular issue would be a problem. I don't think either one would have a problem working together in a time like this to save all or part of the industry. And Disney at least is not having a good time. They've had to seek billions in a debt issue to cover their cash flows, which are nearly shut down with the current situation.

    I hope LCS's and physical floppies don't go away. Never tried digital comics myself beyond a few early abortive efforts as I didn't like how those issues presented on my tablet. Just didn't look good enough. And on a phone? I'm curious, what are the issues still with reading digital? Why would I want it, and why would I not want it? Cause I'm thinking there might be a few issues. Yes, I've seen the complaints, but I'm kind of curious as what the executive briefing on the issue might be? Offhand, I can think of one huge issue, the cost. Not even of the content itself, but rather the cost of a suitable platform to view it on. Not everyone can afford an I Pad or other tablet for example, of sufficient size to view it properly.
    As far as tablets go, I use the Kindle Fire HD 10 tablet. It's $99.99 on Amazon right now, and Prime Members can even pay in 5 monthly installments of $20. My Kindle is nowhere near an Ipad in terms of power, but I bought it exclusively as a comic reader and it's wonderful. Lighter than a tpb and I have 800 books on it. It's awesome. Skip a couple titles for a week and there is the $20 tablet payment lol


    As for pros & cons (my opinion only here):

    Pros:
    Modern comics look better here than they do in print. The digital coloring just pops on a tablet.
    Guided View is an option you can turn on or off, depending on your preference. If I'm reading on my phone, guided view makes every panel fill up my screen and it's easy to read. On my tablet I leave it off, the screen is almost 1:1 with a standard comic page.
    No ads
    Entire collection on a device lighter than a tpb, and you can insert micro sd cards for more storage

    Cons
    Older comics (newsprint era) sometimes aren't scanned well by DC. They don't look "bad", but they don't look as good as modern ones (mid 90's - current)
    Occasionally you need to turn your device horizontally to take advantage of a double page spread, and then turn it vertical again on the next page. Extremely minor annoyance though.
    "Darkseid...always hated music..."

    Every post I make, it should be assumed by the reader that the following statement is attached: "It's all subjective. What works for me doesn't necessarily work for you, and vice versa, and that's ok. You may have a different opinion on it, but this is mine. That's the wonderful thing about being a comics fan, it's all subjective."

  15. #135
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    A few other pro/cons for digital.

    Pro: storage space. I have dozens of long boxes full of comics. They take up a lot of space and are in my basement. And as nice as that basement is, I still have to worry about water damage, mold, etc. It's a semi-nice basement, but it's still a basement and I live in New England. With digital, none of that is a problem.

    Pro: Finding your comics. You all know how long it takes to find a particular issue when you've got dozens of boxes. If you're like me, not all those boxes are organized as well as they should be, and if you're like me then you've also got a bunch of random bags floating around the house, full of weekly comic purchases you haven't put away at all yet. With digital, everything is sorted for you, making it super easy to find what you're looking for. I find that I re-read my digital comics more than my printed ones, in large part because of this.

    Con: Aside from not actually owning the comic, if your device crashes it can be a problem. Back in 2012-2014 I read almost everything digitally, and then my tablet went insane. I uninstalled Comixology, re-installed it, and then it wouldn't take my user ID. I don't have a ton of patience with technology and this was a huge pain in my ass. When I *finally* got the problems straightened out (I forget what happened, something glitched hard in my OS I think and I had to wipe the whole thing), I had to re-download all my comics. Many of them still thought they were still downloaded and refused to download again. I ended up "losing" a lot of books; WildCATS volume 4, Hickman's Avengers and New Avengers, and I don't remember what else. That's never happened again, and I liken it to losing a longbox to water damage, but it still pissed me off. After that, I went back to buying mostly print. I still read some books in digital and I still prefer that format to print (largely for ease of use) but it made me wary of putting too much on my device. But again, that only happened once, and I've lost more printed books (that were worth more money) to water damage or whatever.

    Con: No re-sale value. I'm not one of those collectors who buy comics with the intent of selling them later. But every decade or so, I do cull my printed collection just to make more room in the basement. I bring the books I don't want to keep back to my LCS and sell them for store credit. Can't do that with digital. Of course, that's a super minor "con" for most of us since I doubt anyone on CBR is a speculator.
    Higher, Faster, Further....More.

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