Jeez! Bizarro Rupert?
I’d have a stall as a supplemental sales source, or a handy way to pick up books, but I wouldn’t do away with a proper store. Part of the appeal of the hobby is having destination retail locations you can visit to indulge your hobby. It’s no different from a nutrition store, a gaming store, a fishing store, a sports store and so on. All those kinds of retail presence are threatened by online retailers, but they can still thrive by appealing to those into the hobby.
I’m sure there’s millions of comic fans, but a bestselling book can’t really crack 200k through traditional US distribution. I’d say if every mall in the US has a stand with 200 books from the latest month that browsers could pick up and buy they’d do well. Not huge, but they should be able to clear $500 per day per stand. Marvel and DC could supplement this model too as it’s in their interest. And that’s way better than selling iphone covers. The brilliant thing about comics is there’s always a new one to buy - that’s better than selling cocaine or weed as it’s always something different.
I’m becoming more convinced that digital is an alternate channel rather than a replacement channel. So if Marvel or DC or Image went day and date digital on an unlimited subscription service I think they’d still maintain 80% of their print revenue while opening up a new richer revenue source. At least I think that, but I don’t know that.
Definitely agree, for me, in that situation, I would use the stall as a bat signal for new potential hobbiests and the store as very much a ‘club’ to belong to.
It’s so ridiculous that you have a product so purposefully eye catching sitting inside a store. Even just from school kids and workers looking for something to read on the way home, I can’t possibly see how that wouldn’t be a solid revenue stream. When I wrote this idea into an article, I had a lot of argument that it was undoable… The main and stupidest argument was that you’d have to box and carry books about and set-up/take-down everyday… I was like, “And what? Do you want to do the work needed to earn money or not?”
Some people’s laziness in regards to earning money and making a business a success is beyond me.
I think it could fluctuate greatly in the short term, more than most LCS can handle, but in the long term I think people will always want to own a ‘thing.’ If someone puts together a strong franchise brand in the interim I reckon it would be a very profitable one.
What would you change on the app?
Appartag from missing certain issues of comics. I can’t see any problems with it. But I’must a very simple man at heart.
On my iPad you just can’t read double page spreads without using both hands to move, expand and hold the page, otherwise at readable sizes the bottom half scrolls off the page.
Offline reading… Sometimes it gets broke and you cannot download and issue without error and you can’t remove it, sometimes deleting and reinstalling the app is the only way to fix it, though it’s better than it was.
Thank you. No one else has had this issue before except me. It’s really disruptive.
I have a feeling that’s an issue with their IoS app as I have no issues with it on my Android tablet.
Comixology Unlimited has a bunch of stuff I’m not interested in, but grateful for it - for without it I would not have ever read Alex + Ada, Saga, The Fade Out, etc.
Going back to the original question - - - I would pay up to $25 a month for a TRULY unlimited plan from Marvel/DC/Image. Up to date digital issues as well as the entire backlog of titles.
Back during my peak buying, I was spending $50 - $75+ per week. For March 2017, I spent about $20 for the entire month. Starting in 2008, buying went into a steady decline. I was one of LCS’s top customers. Yet the last time I was in there, I saw a guy drop about $250 on gaming figures.
I had Marvel Unlimited for a while but dropped it. I just found the interface difficult to read in. It didn’t help that the app wasn’t compatible with my admittedly ancient tablet. I wasn’t using it enough to justify the cost, so I let it go.
As an aside, the stuff I found myself reading on it were old comics like Lee/Kirby FF issues and Steve Gerber comics from the 70’s much more than the more up to date stuff.
And that’s a great advantage of the app. Is reading the older stuff (if they have it). Or the books that you never would have touched on the shelves.
Honestly, I find digital to be a noticeably worse experience for old comics, certainly those made before the early '90s or so. I don’t know if it’s the fact that the art was designed to be printed on rougher or darker paper, or that the reproduction/scanning for a lot of those old issues is just poor, or that more modern colouring techniques just lend themselves better to the electronic format, but 60s-70s-80s stuff often looks significantly worse to me on screens than it does on the printed page.
That’s why, for me, the archive aspect of the likes of Marvel Unlimited isn’t really a big sell - I’d much rather read those older books in hardcopy, and most of the ones that I’m interested in, I own already on my bookshelf.
I’m also probably a bit of an outlier in that most of the comics I buy (both digitally and in hardcopy, new stuff and old reprint stuff) are books that I’m probably going to want to own in perpetuity and return to more than once in future. For that reason, I’m happier to buy books outright rather than paying a subscription fee that ultimately leaves you with nothing at the point when you stop paying for it. So the Unlimited idea doesn’t hold a huge amount of appeal for me.
Frankly I struggle to find time to read the stuff I buy already. Having access to an effectively infinite catalogue wouldn’t mean I read any more, it would just mean I feel like I have an even bigger to-read pile than usual!
I agree to an extent Dave and I think it’s a combination of sometimes the scans aren’t the best and also the colouring appears to garish with the high resolution and sharp colours compared to the newsprint they were intended for. Added to that a few creators now are making their comics with the digital audience in mind (just not Brian M Bendis).
It’s still fine for re-reading for me but I do tend to use Marvel Unlimited mostly for the ‘new this week’ books. I read more than I would buy, there are books they have that are enjoyable but I don’t know I would buy the trade.
A long time ago, (before Comixology or MU even existed!) I did actually used to have access to effectively the same thing: the review site I wrote for used to be given access by Marvel to a repository of all of the publisher’s upcoming releases the following week (it allowed us to write timely reviews that could be posted on the day of release). So for several years, I was basically able to do the same as MU lets you do now (only a week ahead of publication): read all of the publisher’s output and see everything they were doing. Which was obviously great for books I followed, and it also let me discover some good stuff that I probably wouldn’t have checked out if I had had to pay for it, as you say.
But even then, the ratio of stuff I would actually pay to read and stuff that didn’t interest me was fairly slim. And although I don’t keep up with much Marvel these days, I haven’t heard great things about their line in general. So I tend to pick out a few titles that either have favourite creators or good critical buzz (in recent years, Daredevil, Hawkeye, Ms Marvel, Vision, stuff like that).
Either way, I don’t really miss having access to those new releases.
Ooh I go nowhere near there. I probably read two or three a week, less on some more on others depending what’s out. In the end though I do the annual deal so I pay around $6 (and was offered a renewal the other day for even cheaper) so anything over 2 books a month and I break even, which is a bit of a no-brainer.
No, in practice I didn’t either. Other than stuff I was buying anyway, I tended to check out new #1s and then follow stuff I enjoyed. I occasionally skimmed over other stuff though, especially tie-ins to other storylines that I wanted to keep abreast of, which was particularly handy for big events (it was around the Civil War era that we first got access).
That’s actually what I assumed I would use it for, and I’m not sure why I didn’t. Now I find I’m spending huge amounts on (e.g.) the Howard the Duck Omnibus when I could easily have read every issue during my free six-month trial. I could easily have read an Omnibus worth every month during that trial – £600 of comics, absolutely free. But I didn’t.
And it’s not really a paper/screen thing – yes, I prefer paper to read off, but I didn’t mind the screen experience. I certainly don’t hate the screen so much that £600 is a sensible price to replace it with paper
So it honestly comes down to accessibility. Crazy as it sounds, paper is more accessible than on-line… no, that’s the wrong word, not accessible, noticeable. I had six omnibuses on my tablet but I didn’t notice them. They’re invisible, with nothing to prod them into the forefront of my mind. But as I sit here now, I can see the Howard the Duck Omnibus and feel the anticipation of when I finish my current book and can start it. It’s in my mind every day, advertising itself… yes, you’re going to so enjoy reading meeee…
That’s something that on-line comics can’t do. At least for me … maybe people more attuned to the technology think differently.
(It’s exactly the same for music. I have a number of downloads that have been sitting unheard for ages. Because how can I remember them when I’ve got a stack of new CDs in line of sight, asking me to play them?)
Who has time?
I’m not leaving books on the shelves because I can’t afford them or don’t have space to store them. I’m leaving them because I’m not interested enough to give them any of my time. An app doesn’t change that equation.
That’s so true.
I have so much stuff that I bought in Comixology sales that I haven’t read just because I’ve never got around to it (Including Howard the Duck actually)