Following on from his thoughts on DC Comics’ digital strategy, Warren Ellis takes on Marvel’s digital plans:
Are they then, like DC, looking to digital as a way to increase reach? Well… not yet. I believe they have done some original digital comics. (By which I mean company-owned Marvel comics created for digital-first release.) But I’m not sure there was any great plan to their release. One of the things I like about Marvel is that they move pretty fast and are capable of an entirely random “hey, let’s do this thing for five minutes” move. The whole Marvel Architects cascade-of-events structure they do these days are frankly as organised as Marvel’s ever been on the macro-scale.
Their digital store, then, is a big back-issue bin, with the occasional experiment in day-and-date simultaneous release in print and digital. They’re unlikely to go line-wide day-and-date like DC unless DC’s numbers are explosively successful and stay that way for six months — in digital AND print. Right now, Marvel own the comics stores in terms of dollar sales and market share, and probably see no compelling reason to risk a dilution of those figures. Those figures look good on quarterly reports. And that’s not a knock against Marvel, just an observation of the reality of their business life.
He goes on to consider where Marvel may consider digital sales impacting, and potential ways around it. He also, for the wonks amongst you, points out that “I’m on work-for-hire exclusive to them until the end of the year” (Hey, DC: Ready your checkbooks for December) and gives his take on the $3.99 single issue pricepoint, as well. Go, read.