The Digital Landscape Is Changing

Less than 24 hours after ComiXology pushed out a new client update for Android to my phone, and the week that Marvel officially launches its Infinite Comics digital project, comes the news that Graphic.Ly is getting out of the app market and into an eBook business model.

David Brothers had a great series of points in his article over at Comics Alliance that basically sums up What This Means To Us:

Here’s eight things that you need to know about the announcement:

1. Graphicly is going to stop selling digital comics and remove the Graphicly app from the iTunes and Android stores.

2. If you’ve purchased comics from Graphicly, you will always be able to re-download those comics, as long as you keep the Graphicly app on your device or visit the website.

3. The Graphicly apps will not be available for reinstallation.

4. Your books will not be converted to the new format.

5. What books are available on the various bookstores will be up to the publisher, not Graphicly.

6. Soon, you’ll be able to access your already purchased library via HTML5 on tablets and phones.

7. The books will be available on the iBookstore, Kindle, Nook, Facebook, and more.

8. As such, Graphicly has moved from being a digital comics distributor to an ebooks distributor. They will format and push the books to the various ebookstores instead of providing an app and specifically Graphicly experience.

This is a pretty huge change, and Graphicly is the first digital comics distributor to shift their business model like this. Rather than providing a Graphicly reading experience, the comics they publish will be native to the device they’re being read on. Graphic novels purchased from the Kindle store will display using the standard Kindle Fire reader, and the same holds true for iPad and Nook. This makes for a more natural reading experience, as it will be tailored to each device.

The new focus, according to Graphicly, is to enable publishers to sell books in digital bookstores, and connect with their customers in a more direct manner, rather than selling books inside their own app. You don’t have to search for Graphicly and then a comic; instead, you just search for that comic in the bookstore and it shows up. It removes a layer of difficulty from the process of purchasing digital comics.

Certainly a case of Graphic.Ly zagging while ComiXology zigs. ComiXology appears to be the leader of the pack where these sort of “iTunes for Comics” are concerned. One has to think iVerse and their Comics+ app might see a distinct opening for more market penetration than was there before.

(And whatever happened to Rantz Hoseley’s Longbox app anyway? A bit ahead of its time perhaps?)

Graphic.Ly offering to a wide array of eReaders also lessens the chance of a debacle like Barnes & Noble yanking DC Comics books off the shelves because DC went Kindle-exclusive, dissing B&N’s Nook. We’ll see how that goes, especially as Graphic.Ly now bring their message to the publishers. And hey, why not, as Harry Potter e-books are going like mad. E-books are the Thing right now. And Graphic.Ly aren’t JUST doing comics either.

New Graphic.Ly, new ComiXology, new Marvel platform, new digital schedule for 2000AD… a lot happens in a week.

[And as a bonus, here’s where I stole the title for this entry. Enjoy.

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