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Marvel comics launches digital downloads in face of piracy

Written by Dave Horvath @ 13 Nov 2007 13:12 User comments (16)

Marvel comics launches digital downloads in face of piracy Just about any person who thinks of their favorite super hero knows the name Marvel. The comic company has been a part of culture and created some of the most fascinating super heroes of our time. Their analysts say that even their paper format of delivering issues of comic books haven't been safe from piracy on the Internet. It is said that upon release of a new issue, a comic book is scanned and shared on the Internet within 36 hours of its publication. With that, Marvel is hoping its new subscription service will help subside the illegal sharing of their intellectual properties.
Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited will launch a subscription service to the tune of $59.88 a year, or at a monthly rate of $9.99, offering high-resolution reprints of more than 2500 back issues. These subscriptions will be obtainable through their marvel.com website.

Included in these issues are the likes of everyone's favorites like X-men, Incredible Hulk and Spiderman to name a few.

"We did not want to get caught flat-footed with kids these days who have the tech that allows them to read comics in a digital format," says Dan Buckley, Marvel's president. "Our fan base is already on the Internet. It seemed like a natural way to go."

To help ease customers into their model, they are offering a free sample of 250 different titles to try before you buy. "Our quality is much higher; the library is huge and will never go out of style," says Marvel editor in chief Joe Quesada. "This is the legal way to do things."

Source:
USA Today

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16 user comments

113.11.2007 14:54

I'm curious what effect this will have on the secondary market, where valuable prints of popular issues are resold and have a collectible value.

I am intrigued by this, though I haven't read a comic book since I was a little boy, but this is certainly on obvious step for anyone in the publishing industry, as many newspapers are already in digital formats.

213.11.2007 15:19

The great thing about this article is at least Marvel is taking the proper steps to adapter to the changing consumer. They impressed me with this step. I hope other major entities can see this and know what impact this has for the business side and costumer side. Price isnt to bad either for a year. I also havent read comics since i was a boy i used to be a heavy reader of comics especially Marvel.

313.11.2007 15:39

Originally posted by SProdigy:
I'm curious what effect this will have on the secondary market, where valuable prints of popular issues are resold and have a collectible value.
The resell value on those physical goods will plummet like what happened to certain video games at least. Depending on demand and the quantity available, the change in value can shift either very mildly or substantially. I recall at one point, the PSX game Suikoden 2 could easily have risen to 500+ dollars at one point (around the 400 dollar mark to be precise) nearly a decade ago. Nowadays, from what I've witnessed, the price of Suikoden 2 lowered as people opted for digital content since it was free (as it is becoming increasingly easy to obtain too) instead of buying a hard copy, resulting in a decrease mostly.

Remakes or ports of games such as Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of The Lions and Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth for the PSP could also decrease the initial value of their PSX counterpart yet I doubt ports alone would bring down the price immensely. Instead, you have less demand for these physical goods. The value of an item is as much as one is willing to pay in some instances too. As for the real value of some things, beats me. shrugs

413.11.2007 16:03

Quote:
Originally posted by SProdigy:
I'm curious what effect this will have on the secondary market, where valuable prints of popular issues are resold and have a collectible value.
The resell value on those physical goods will plummet like what happened to certain video games at least.
I doubt it. Marvel has for years sold reprints of back issues. These reprints have never plummeted the originals' values.

513.11.2007 16:09

I had like 2000 marvel comics I collected in the 90s,lost them all due to a leak in o4 or 05, anyway tis not to hard to get them even first prints are not that costly if you know where to look you can get random lots as well and the comics go dirt cheap to acouple bucks each, outside of lots you might pay 5-10 a comic for some rare ones but with reprints and such theres lil need unless you are a mad collector.

Now its good to see marvel finally changing with the times however...its like porn...why would I pay 30 a month or 50 a year for it?
the prices are to high IMO like Gamespy they rig the prices to damn high if its was 2 or 3 a month for a basic plan with caps I'd be all for it, but tis seems to be 100% premium and no plan...if you will....

613.11.2007 16:55

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by SProdigy:
I'm curious what effect this will have on the secondary market, where valuable prints of popular issues are resold and have a collectible value.
The resell value on those physical goods will plummet like what happened to certain video games at least.
I doubt it. Marvel has for years sold reprints of back issues. These reprints have never plummeted the originals' values.

there was a glut of 90s marvel comics that broke the collectors bubble if you will, yes you can find collectors class stuff at various prices but tis not to hard to find them relatively cheap.

713.11.2007 18:41

Quote:
Marvel is hoping its new subscription service will help subside the illegal sharing of their intellectual properties.
If people can download it somebody's gonna upload it.
I don't get how they're thinking the piracy is gonna stop, it's just going to get easier and a lot better (scans vs. high quality downloads).
Unless they have some sort of like special viewer or encrypted format (which I highly doubt).

814.11.2007 12:43

I don't understand why people would want to read a comic book sitting in front of a monitor or laptop. I will always prefer something I can hold and be able to read anywhere, such as my couch. The same with magazines, I'd hate to have to read an issue online.

This whole subscription thing is a bad idea. People will have access to 2500 back issues, which will all be uploaded and pirated. All that work of scanning with such little return on investment.

914.11.2007 16:47

Originally posted by BludRayne:
This whole subscription thing is a bad idea. People will have access to 2500 back issues, which will all be uploaded and pirated. All that work of scanning with such little return on investment.
They are already uploaded and pirated. You can get just about any comic on warez forums (high quality scans). Bittorrent also. Marvel is just saying that they know they can't stop it, but please pay them for their work. It's better than doing nothing. $5 a month is not bad for a collector. I don't think they are looking to rake it in. Any company should know by now that the old ways of doing business are over. The growth in the mass appeal of the internet, and the boom in bandwidth over the past few years has changed everything. Some business have to adapt. Some just can't adapt, just due to the nature of their product.

1014.11.2007 16:50

Quote:
Originally posted by BludRayne:
This whole subscription thing is a bad idea. People will have access to 2500 back issues, which will all be uploaded and pirated. All that work of scanning with such little return on investment.
They are already uploaded and pirated. You can get just about any comic on warez forums (high quality scans). Bittorrent also. Marvel is just saying that they know they can't stop it, but please pay them for their work. It's better than doing nothing. $5 a month is not bad for a collector. I don't think they are looking to rake it in. Any company should know by now that the old ways of doing business are over. The growth in the mass appeal of the internet, and the boom in bandwidth over the past few years has changed everything. Some business have to adapt. Some just can't adapt, just due to the nature of their product.
They are going after hard core comic fans and well off people, at 50-60 a year tis to fcking much money, anything above 40 is to much.

1115.11.2007 10:26
japhy
Inactive

Quote:

They are going after hard core comic fans and well off people, at 50-60 a year tis to fcking much money, anything above 40 is to much.
Are you serious, a controller on a PS3 or Xbox is almost that much money, or one game on either console. I think this a a bargain, it is safe, high quality, and easy to read. I just hope DC, and Darkhorse does the same thing.

Sign ME UP

1215.11.2007 19:53

http://www.marvel.com/digitalcomics/sign...CFQkxgwodnmud8g

its up and running and 100% online, no saving content already downloaded,viewed in a buggy flash application and you cant print it either.

all this for 9.99 a month or 60 a year...and you wonder why I think its a bad idea....

Now if it was as portable as cbr, then ya free print and saving and portability sure thats great but this? this sucks!
I'll wait for the torrent to come out so its in a highly portable format!

1316.11.2007 8:03

In the good old days a comic was 10 cents and a newspaper was 5 cents. Now comics are $10! That is sure way ahead of inflation.

1416.11.2007 11:18

Awsome. If they had every issue from the beggining. It'd be quite cool to read through an entire series. I do like this approach. I haven't bought comics in a long time (only an old The Tick comic a year ago for kicks).

152.12.2007 20:27

what i am curious about is what exactly a digital download is when were talking about marvel comics are they talking about pdf versions of the comic books. I sorta do not see the point to this.

162.12.2007 20:31

Originally posted by borhan9:
what i am curious about is what exactly a digital download is when were talking about marvel comics are they talking about pdf versions of the comic books. I sorta do not see the point to this.
its kinda like a PDF but more clunkly only you do not"downlaod" it you view it online only.

its a gimmick to try and gain profit from thos with money who don't care if they are being taken to the cleaners or not...

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