When DC made waves this summer with their day-and-date digital announcement a veritable shift in fans’ attitudes occurred. It’s a move we long expected would happen. Now Marvel has countered with their own announcement regarding digital. Though it perhaps makes less of splash due to the fact that no line-wide reboots accompany their digital initiative, it’s equally as important. DC and Marvel have had a long-standing business competition and for the both of them to be in the digital ring is probably good news for the comics industry.
This news broke at Gizmodo.com. No pricing scheme was announced. No doubt that announcement will be rolled out in the intervening days. Marvel will not offer third-party licensed properties nor will they provide their MAX titles day-and-date. Perhaps this speaks as to the type of demographic they expect to target in the digital market? Also, contrary to DC’s tactic, Marvel wil be rolling out their digital books over several months ending in March 2012. No details are provided as to how the comics will distributed other than they will be available from Marvel’s app.
That’s 4 down as Dark Horse, Image, DC and Marvel are all day-and-date digital.
So far, we’ve seen no hard evidence of the digital initiative adversely affecting already struggling retailers (for the most part). However, with both major comic publishers in the game, this could begin to tip the balance. We’ll have to wait and see. Are paper comics going the route of niche product? More so than they already are of course. We’ve seen the advent of cassette tapes, CDs and mp3s but still most major urban centers have die-hard vinyl record shops and vinyl collectors are an enthusiastic and healthy community. Could comics be heading the same route? If comics do follow a similar route as music, this would mean that more comics will be bought and sold by more people. A good thing if you make comics, but if you’re not in the digital distribution game you might have reason to be concerned.
What are your thoughts on the matter?