The Beat have rounded up the latest news from SanÂ Diego…
There was breaking news right off the bat, with Slitkin announcing that Panelfly was about to disappear and is merging with some other multimedia properties into a new entity to be called â€œSyn.â€ Â Details were sparse, but it would appear that at least one of the players in the digital comics space is exiting. Â In general, though, the rest of the panelists were cautiously bullish on the prospects for digital comics, particularly based on the growth in availability and sales for comics distributed online (primarily via Apple properties, an element that remains consistent from 2009). Â Steinberger was comfortable representing the admitted industry leader, as comiXology has the largest library of available titles, with over 2300 books, he claimed.
Micah Baldwin from newcomer Graphic.ly was happy to play the role of the bigger thinker, and to emphasize what he sees as his companyâ€™s key differentiator, social and community features. Â Murphey from iVerse seemed to be speaking for all in the group in characterizing the necessity of depending so much on Apple to be an acceptable reality and that some of the early problems around the iTunes have been ironed out, and things were â€œjust not that badâ€ anymore.
Mosher challenged the panelists to explain how digital comics were going to expand the overall comic book market beyond what his research characterizes as the â€œ300,000 regular weekly shoppersâ€ at the 1800-2000 brick and mortar shops in the U.S. Â Here the answers were very similar to a year ago, highlighting the potential benefits of bringing comics to non-traditional readers via technology, and to capitalize on the general pervasiveness of comics IP in the culture generally. Â Steinberger claimed that the retailers participating in comiXologyâ€™s program had seen sales increases of â€œ20%â€ but the general feeling was that digital comics were still too new for much comprehensive data to have been collected yet.
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