Wired: Marvel should embrace digital distribution

This month’s Wired Magazine features an article arguing that Marvel and DC should sell digitized versions of old issues online. While venturing into new material online has yet to show how it would be financially advantageous given their manufacturing model, back issues could provide the ideal stepping stone to digital distribution. Of course, that’s if they can overcome their corporate-phobia of the Internet.

An interesting line:

In 2004, Marvel had net sales of $513 million. Of that, only 16 percent came from comics. The rest was from licensing characters for movies, TV, and toys. In other words, comic books – the actual printed artifacts – have become little more than marketing materials. Scary as that might be for fans, the publishers must have realized it. But it begs the question of why those publishers aren’t embracing digital distribution when it could be free and easy evangelizing for the next summer blockbuster.

Marvel and DC have written off comics as a medium of worth in and of itself – to them its all just an avenue for better methods to make money. Time to shift to some new perspectives.


  • A DVD may still be digital, but it doesn’t utilize the power of the internet: it doesn’t establish a web presence, allow for instant gratification, selective buying, digital distribution…

    In other words, a DVD doesn’t use the power of the web.

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