(from a Marvel Comics press release:) “The Marvel ReEvolution grows even bigger this month as Marvel is proud to unveil the Marvel Digital Comics Shop, the newest place to find and read Marvel digital comics. This convenient online destination gives fans the chance to purchase all their favorite Marvel comics in one location and have it sync to the Marvel Comics app for Apple® iOS and Android devices. Not only can you read your comics anytime and anywhere – but now you can read them on your desktop or laptop! With all Marvel Universe and Ultimate Comics Universe titles available the same day they hit comic shops, there’s no better time to jump into comics!
“Then, come June – all Marvel super hero comics priced at $3.99 at your local comic shop will include codes for free digital copies of those same issues on the Marvel Comics app for Apple iOS and Android devices, the Marvel Digital Comics Shop and the Comics by comiXology app and web store all at no extra cost! That’s right, the most-talked-about comics in the industry—including Avengers, Captain America, Invincible Iron Man, Mighty Thor, Amazing Spider-Man. Wolverine & The X-Men and more—will come packed with a code to ensure fans have the most critically acclaimed stories with them anytime, anywhere.”
Between the Marvel Comics app and the Marvel Digital Comics Shop, it’s pretty easy to read and enjoy Marvel Comics now. What we observe, though, is that while Marvel may be an early adopter of this business model, they didn’t create the technology. Comixology did. And DC Comics uses them too – so Marvel doesn’t actually have a marketing edge here. The playing field is pretty level.
The shift is going to be towards all digital publication, with only select titles being available as paper, hold-in-your-hand books. The lesser titles will eventually have to go away because it’s getting too expensive for the big publishers to print them. The smaller labels will be running their businesses on a print-on-demand basis, which the big boys simply cannot do. Paper comics won’t go away completely, but there are going to be a lot less of the ones from the big press distributors, leaving more room for the independent publishers. The transformation of the industry has already begun.
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