Digital Comics purveyor Graphic.ly has exited the comics market according to their latest press email. While they plan to continue supporting the comics their customers have already bought from them, they are no longer going to sell new comics. Additionally, they are going to close down their iPad, iPhone and Android stores as well as stop downloads of their apps. Per their release: “As of this week, we will be retiring the previously-released Graphicly Comics marketplace applications. Our iPhone, iPad and Android applications, as well as a our Adobe AIR Desktop application will no longer be available for download.” They are exiting the apps business completely.
The company claims this was a long time coming and that they “have decided to focus on this initiative and work to help more publishers get more titles into these eBookstores.” The have dropped the word “comics” from their marketing literature altogether. They claim this is because “a larger percentage of the content that runs through the platform is not comics.”
Examinations from comics insiders are popping up on all the usual blogs. Bleeding Cool talked about it in their usual style, quoting the press release and then ending with a quip comparing the announcement to the demise of Capitol City Distribution. Comicsbeat discusses it briefly, also quoting the press release, before pointing off to the Comics Alliance article that includes an interview with Graphic.ly’s CEO Micah Baldwin. But maybe Micah explains it best on their own site.
The upshot is that the industry is now down to two main apps-based digital comics distributors standing next to the two main initiatives from publishers Marvel Comics and Dark Horse Comics. Further consolidation can be expected. I’m not going to editorialize beyond this: They must be partying in the comiXology offices about now.