Image Comics is starting to look like the Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) of the comic book publishing industry, says Fool contributor Tim Beyers in the following video.
Specifically, Image has opened a DRM-free store for downloading digital issues of its comics to any electronic device. ComiXology, the industry's top digital distributor, could take a hit as a result.
We've seen these sorts of disruptions before, Tim says. Apple disrupted the music industry when it introduced sales of single tracks. Netflix disrupted the DVD-rental business with rent-by-mail and then unlimited monthly streaming.
Here, Image is trying to disrupt the disruptor (i.e., comiXology) in a manner reminiscent of how Amazon went after iTunes in 2007 with a DRM-free music store. The e-tailer still sells some DRM-free tracks, but not as aggressively as it used to, Tim says.
Image could very well end up taking a similar approach. In the meantime, Tim says, the Big Two of comic book publishing -- Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) with DC and Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) with Marvel -- will no doubt be checking to see how Image's experiment tracks with fans, if only because both use comiXology as their primary distributor of digital comics.
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