digital distribution Archive


Marvel’s Push Into Digital Comics

Rob Salkowitz for Fast Company:

Augmented reality might be the most overblown trend on the digital radar right now, and that’s saying a lot. Do we really need to wave our smartphones and tablets over every object in the physical world to find some gimmicky Easter egg or unlock some cheesy video clip? Does it add anything to the story to strip a page down to its pencils or see Iron Man come flying off the page onto the screen of your iPad? How soon till that gets old, even for a teenage male? Five times? Ten?

Bingo. I’ve been reading “Avengers vs X-Men” with the Marvel AR app and it gets old pretty fast. There’s only about 4-5 times you can use the AR functionality and even then, about 80% of the “content” is just panels stripped to pencils. Yes, it’s hard work producing a comic, but *yawn*.

It is nice that Marvel is thinking of ways to add value to their content, but AR is probably a novelty at best, especially considering that you have to hold your phone over the comic, which is kinda like attending a live concert and watching it through your phone camera. How about we work on making a Spotify equivalent for comics, first? Now, that would be something truly valuable.

Marvel Announces Big Digital Comics Push, But Will It Fly? | Fast Company.


Marvel’s Free Digital Copy Bundle With Physical Comics

David Gabriel, Marvel SVP of Sales:

We’ve seen a tremendous response to the digital codes in Avenging Spider-Man, our Season One graphic novels and the Ultimate Comics line. The positive reactions from both retailers and fans make it clear that including these codes with our books drives customers into comic stores on a repeated basis.

Awesome move on Marvel’s part. With every $3.99 physical comic purchase, you get a digital version via the Marvel Comics App on Android or iOS. Leave it to a comics company to pave the way for a languishing publishing industry.

via Comic Book Resources.


What Media Companies Need To Start Doing

Marco Ament talking about media piracy :

Relying solely on yelling about what’s right isn’t a pragmatic approach for the media industry to take. And it’s not working. It’s unrealistic and naïve to expect everyone to do the “right” thing when the alternative is so much easier, faster, cheaper, and better for so many of them.

The pragmatic approach is to address the demand.

Again, the best way of combating piracy is by making it an undesirable alternative to buying the content legitimately. People don’t care about “release dates,” they want the content when they want it. You can either capitalize on that customer as early as you can or lose sales to piracy.

via Right versus pragmatic –


The Oatmeal Tried To Watch Game Of Thrones

It continues to baffle me why content providers are still giving people reasons to pirate their content. They should be making piracy the least appealing option.

I tried to watch Game of Thrones and this is what happened – The Oatmeal.


Vita Games Discounted For Digital Distribution

Andrew Yoon for Shacknews:

A Sony representative has confirmed the discount. “I can confirm that there will be a discount on the downloadable PS Vita titles from PSN. Exact details have not yet been revealed, but be on the lookout for an announcement in the very near future.”

The discount will apparently be 10% off the retail price for the equivalent retail boxed version of the game. It’s an interesting first step in the transition to a completely digital consumer experience for the games industry.

I’m not sure if 10% is enough, given that many retailers routinely offer 20% or greater discounts/promotions for new game releases. (Anyone who’s pre-ordered new video games from Amazon in the last two years is fond of their $10-$20 promotional credit offers) But the fact that Sony is willing to discount the digital version is at least acknowledgement that charging full retail price for it is folly.

If you’re able to delete and re-download games for free at will, it might actually give consumers an interesting purchasing decision to make assuming they have a decent sized memory card. One of the most annoying things about carrying multiple games on trips is physically carrying those games. Being able to load several games onto your memory card would cut down on travel weight significantly.

Now if Sony would only get rid of their comically overpriced proprietary Vita memory cards…



Andy Baio’s 2012 Oscar Screener Leak Report

Andy Baio:

The decline in screener leaks could be attributed to tighter controls — personalized watermarks, the aggressive prosecution of leakers, and greater awareness of the risks for Academy voters.

But the continuously shrinking window between theatrical and retail releases may be to blame. After all, once the retail Blu-ray or DVD is released, there’s no reason for pirate groups to release a lower-quality watermarked screener.

I’d be curious to see whether the small percentage of leaked screeners correspond with the small percentage of Oscar nominated films not yet released at retail yet. I can’t imagine this suddenly being the year that Joe Academy Member has the realization that leaking his screener discs could be detrimental to his future in the Academy.

It just goes to show, though, that even the most easily enforceable situations (screeners with personalized watermarks pretty much hands you over on a silver platter) do not prevent piracy.

via MPAA Wins the Oscar Screener Battle, but Loses the War | Epicenter |


The Secret Demands Of Record Labels

Michael Robertson of MP3Tunes on the otherworldly demands the major record labels have for digital music services:

With most other businesses, if a supplier makes unreasonable demands, a retailer can turn to other providers. Since copyright law gives record labels and publishers a government-granted monopoly, no such option is possible with music. Digital vendors have only two options: Accept the terms or not include those songs in their offering.

It’s a ridiculous situation that innovative companies like Spotify are beholden to such lazy companies as the major record labels. The terms of their deals are so laughably one-sided that it’s almost unbelievable. Could you imagine going into a “normal” business negotiation with these?

Hopefully, as time goes on, and the majors’ artist rosters dwindle from relevant new acts eschewing them, the tables will turn. Yes, the majors’ will always have their catalog, but if things continue on their current path, they may be forced to license out the catalog at a discounted rate in order to stay relevant.

via GigaOM.


Louis CK’s DRM Free Experiment Works

Louis CK:

I really hope people keep buying it a lot, so I can have shitloads of money, but at this point I think we can safely say that the experiment really worked. If anybody stole it, it wasn’t many of you. Pretty much everybody bought it. And so now we all get to know that about people and stuff. I’m really glad I put this out here this way and I’ll certainly do it again.

Really glad to see that Louis CK’s “experiment” of making it as easy and affordable as possible for fans to buy his product was successful. Who would have thought that treating your fans well and not overcharging them for DRM-saddled content was a good idea? Sure, he would have made more for himself if he let a large corporation handle the sales, but the goodwill he’s getting here will more than make up for it down the road.

via Louis


Google Currents Lets People Easily Create Touchscreen Optimized Content

Google Currents released yesterday. Basically, it’s a Flipboard-style app on your tablet or smartphone that lets you view your subscribed RSS feeds and content from featured publishers in a more visually pleasing “online magazine format.”

What makes it interesting, though, is that Google is also launching a basic content publishing platform for small publishers (like yours truly) to easily create a touch-screen optimized content portal.

Alongside Google Currents, we’re also launching a self-service platform that gives publishers the flexibility to design, brand and customize their web content. For example, if you’re a small regional news outlet, a non-profit organization without access to a mobile development team, or a national TV network with web content, you can effortlessly create hands-on digital publications for Google Currents.

It’s pretty basic, and you’ll still need to tackle the problem of growing your subscriber base, but it’s an interesting angle of attack nonetheless.

via Official Google Mobile Blog.


Spotify Apps

Thomas Houston from The Verge:

We’ve been waiting for years for someone to seamlessly wed editorial content like Rolling Stone and Pitchfork’s lists and reviews to a deep music backend, and this is a great step in that direction. These beta apps, though, are merely a first step, and don’t fully reflect the deep archives, sorting features, and knowledge of these sites yet, and we’re hoping to see that in future versions.

If I’m in a pinch for time to get some new music, oftentimes I’ll just troll Pitchfork’s best new music section for stuff to listen to on Spotify. With the Pitchfork App, I can listen to the album right there on the same page of the review. It’s awesome and time-saving. Houston is right in that many of the apps are bare-bones as of now, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction and we’re truly seeing a killer music app that combines content curation with instant gratification start to take shape.

From a business standpoint, it was brilliant for Spotify to bring the app makers to the Spotify client, rather than the other way around. It ensures that people will be Spotify users first and foremost.

You can try out Spotify apps out for yourself by downloading a preview client here. (Shame on Spotify for not linking to this on their Apps product page!)

via The Verge.