Meet the Apple and Amazon of Comic Book Publishing

Meet the Apple and Amazon of Comic Book Publishing

Image Comics is starting to look like the 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 with DC and Walt Disney 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.

Talk about an enviable position. If only comiXology were public, right? Fortunately, there are other ways to profit from the comic book publishing boom. We lay out all the opportunities for you in a special report entitled "Your Ticket to Cash In on the Superhero Battle of the Century." Inside, we tell you everything you know to cash in on your favorite characters. Click here to read the full report now!

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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.The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of, Apple, Netflix, and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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