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.