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A recent(ish) development in the world of WebComics is the subscription site, like ModernTales, GraphicSmash or the late Adventure Strips. These sites usually make the most recent strip available, and sometimes the first few, but you have to pay for access to the rest of the archives.

Keenspot operates a sort of halfway-policy: you don't have to subscribe, but you can, and if you do you get access to some extras and (they claim) faster browsing.

So who would pay for webcomics? Is this a viable business model? Obviously it didn't work for Adventure Strips, but ModernTales seems to be going strong. 
Strongly enough to launch a sister site, GraphicSmash  --Vitenka


Interestingly, according to Howard Taylor at http://www.schlockmercenary.com/letters/d/20030720.html,

ModernTales makes about the same amount of money as KeenSpot?, but with less than 1/100th the fan-base.

So it seems that subscription doesn't actually make any more money than ads.

I also object to the method ModernTales uses to showcase its strips, that of showing the current strip free and charging for access to the archives. As I usually only read the archives of a strip once, what is the point of 'subscribing'? It's basically a one-off charge. I would much prefer it if, say, the first thirty strips of each were online for free as a taster and the rest were subscription. That would allow better judgement of what's good than a single strip out of context, and also make me as a subscriber feel that I'm getting something for my subscription that I couldn't get for free: an ongoing comic.

That said, I heartily support the concept of subscription webcomics (just not on the ModernTales model) and would have paid a ModernTales subscription before now if there was a way to do it other than PayPal.

OP = , um, Vitenka at a guess
Hmm - no.  I posted a reply, and signed that.  --Vitenka

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Last edited September 28, 2004 4:40 pm (viewing revision 9, which is the newest) (diff)