Digital technology has disrupted all forms of media, including comics. On the distribution side of the business, platforms like Comixology capitalized on online distribution and potentially disrupting the direct market.
Since 2014, Amazon has given Comixology significant economies of scale. The Netflix model of unlimited subscriptions and original content currently appear to be gaining traction. Many of the major publishers have launched their own unlimited digital services in response to this new reality, while still selling their books on Comixology.
It is an open question whether this migration to digital is good or bad for the industry as a whole (See Travis Clark’s “Amazon’s Comixology Has Provoked a Fierce Debate”). It is even more unclear how digital distribution will shape the future of independent comics. But with more readers getting their first comics digitally (In his book “Economics of Digital Comics”, Todd Allen reported that up to 20% of current comic book readers read their first comics digitally), platforms like Comixology could be a much needed replacement for the old newsstands in terms of expanding the market of comic book readers.
Independent comic creators need to embrace digital distribution not just as a cheaper alternative to print, but maybe as the only distribution they need to reach their market.
What do you think? Is Amazon trying to dominate the online market the way Diamond has in the print market? Will this help or hurt the market overall and independents in particular?
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