Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Comical Marketing

Sony has announced that they're making a bunch of comic books available as digital downloads. For your PSP Go, that is... what? You don't have one yet? You're not alone. Anyway, once you have one, you can look forward to downloading digital comics for only $1.99 for a 5-year old comic! Isn't that a deal? Think of how much fun you'll have scrolling around on your screen trying to figure out the panel layout and get the impact of the graphics design for full-page layouts. Sigh.

I'm sure it's probably Marvel here, and other publishers, demanding absurdly high prices for their comics. Look, publishers, these are back issues that are currently making you damn close to zero. Do you really think you're going to get many people rushing to buy comics for $1.99 in a very awkward format? Is this any way to expand your market? You should be flogging those issues for 25 cents apiece... 5 for a dollar, even. You've got bazillions of back issues. Why not try to create some new comic book fans? Then sell them the newer issues for $1, or even $2 for the latest ones.

Digital content is the perfect product to try out different pricing structures. Maybe you'll find, like Valve has with Steam, that cutting your price in half can result in a 3000% boost in sales, which more than makes up for the reduction given that there's no cost of goods (bandwidth is pretty cheap, comparatively).

I shouldn't be surprised at comic book publishers... book publishers are falling into the same trap, as have music publishers. Fixed pricing schemes make little sense for your massive back catalog which is earning you nothing. Why not play with the pricing and maximize the revenue?

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