- Posted by Johanna on April 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
Here’s the first casualty among digital comic distributors: Graphic.ly will no longer be supporting their comic-reading apps, and they are no longer available to install.
Our iPhone, iPad, and Android applications, as well as our Adobe AIR Desktop application, will no longer be available for download…. [T]he apps will still work, but you will no longer be able to purchase titles within them. You can still use the apps to read your library of comics and whatever future titles you purchase on Graphicly.com, which will still have the vast library of publications from more than 400 publishers still available for purchase. Purchased titles can be read on Grapicly.com and through the Graphicly Facebook app.
So now you’re responsible for backing up those applications, or you’ll lose access to the online comics you “bought” using your preferred reader. There’s also the question of how long Graphic.ly will want to maintain support for these titles on their servers. Most of the best-known online comic suppliers don’t actually sell you anything; they’re licensing the ability to read the comics to you. If they turn off their servers, the app can’t check that you’re authorized, and poof! there goes your access.
I’m not surprised to see Graphic.ly changing their business focus. Their announcement goes on to talk about refocusing on helping publishers get their work made available digitally, and no longer wanting to run a store, but it boils down to this: Graphic.ly wasn’t offering anything to differentiate themselves. Their intent to create interactive extras for comics never took off (although Marvel is now planning something similar, without their help). ComiXology had the most publishers and comics available. iVerse is Diamond Distribution’s digital partner, although their offering is way overdue. There are no other major players. It looks like, instead of learning the lessons caused by the problems of a monopoly print comic distributor, the same kind of structure is being recreated in the digital realm.
If you want to know more, company CEO Micah Baldwin answered questions for Comics Alliance.