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.DL) 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.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple, Netflix, Time Warner, and Walt Disney at the time of publication. He was also long Jan. 2014 $50 Netflix call options. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
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