Largo Winch, Blake and Mortimer, Lucky Luke, Manu Larcenet, "The cat of the Rabbi"... they will take all the train to Angoulême tomorrow, where the comic show opens. A train of heroes of any size and any type of all times, now adept at playing the stars on all screens. This already for many years that they are out of their boxes to try to film, the cartoon or video games. This is why all these paper monsters will also follow with attention, tonight, presented by Steve Jobs of its digital tablet. Apple's CEO is perhaps not a great comic reader, but it is the new magician digital. He has reinvented the music on the Internet, popularized the Internet on the mobile phone and, now, he tackles the book. And everyone expects that it is the Holy Grail that all publishers of newspapers, books or comics are desperately: an economic model to counter the "googlelisation" of the world. This giant Hydra advance and feeds in digitizing and archiving everything happening in its scope. Without great consideration for Aboriginal economic models of publishers. The world of the book is thus in turn confronted with the question of its future in the digital age.
As such, the case of media-Participations deserves attention because his model could prefigure the profile of the Publisher of the 21st century: a creator of content Office. Perhaps because, paradoxically, this young group arrived in crisis in a sector which it predicted rapid marginalization, or even death in the medium term. Born in the 1930s, the comic had its moment of glory post-war with the triumph of Tintin and heroes of the "clear line" (Blake and Mortimer, Alix, Lefranc...). As the novels of the 19th century, it found its vitality in the press, with a kind which imposed an unbearable suspense at every page bottom ("to follow...") ).
All the children of the 1970s, as the author of these lines remember with emotion of intense hours spent on the carpet of the House in the "spirou" company, "Pilot" or log "Tintin". This blessed time has not stood in the breaking of the 1980s. The competition of television, video games, computers and the avalanche of albums sold in bookstores did gradually decline this press was the heart of the three major francophone publishers of the genus, the Belgian Dupuis and Le Lombard and Dargaud French. As far as the founders, all elderly, were already looking for a way out.
Is a vendor of missals which will come to their rescue. Founded in 1981 by a former Minister of Raymond Barre, Rémy Montagne, Média-Participations group started around the "Christian family" magazine, missals and the editor for children Fleurus. It distributed in France journal "Tintin". It was the embryo of departure. The group bought the Lombard in 1986, Dargaud in 1988 and Dupuis in 2004. On a bet: the future of the BD is before it. Crazy initially, step false upon arrival.
In 1995, it was released in France near 550 new albums, which was considered a deadly overproduction. Last year, are nearly 4,500 new features that have been put on the shelves of booksellers, including 1,500 to the only genus in the Japanese manga. That is, the vivacity of a sector that were thought buried.
Média-Participations thus restructured the sector through a severe mutation. He did go to the second stage of his career, that of a publisher of books. It therefore feels rather well armed to deal with the new mutation coming and become the first editor of the third type, one is free support, or rather which combines them all.
In this sense, to his colleagues of literary publishing, he is helped by its kind. On the one hand because the BD promotes the heroes, and especially the hero recurring, the Tintin, the Asterix or Largo Winch, which all exceeded the 20 albums. Stories so embodied in their characters that it is easier to extend them. The success of the resurrection of Blake and Mortimer, born in 1946 and woke up in 1996 by Dargaud, Smash has set a precedent. Now, Lucky Luke, Spirou, Alix and many others live long after their creators. This week, Uderzo, Asterix creator, announced having taken its provisions to keep his character after him.
On the other hand, the economic model of the BD grows naturally to find new sources of income. The investment is much more important than in traditional publishing. Must pay writers and cartoonists for a year to work on an album, the cost of printing is two times higher than for a book and its selling price is two times lower (10 euros instead of 20). Result, stalled revolves around 10,000 copies against slightly more than 2,500 for a traditional Publisher.
Naturally, this kind, based on the image, was interested very early film. The first Tintin films date back to the 1960s. But it is especially the cartoon which is the most natural outlet. Indeed, at the same time where the cartoon imagined a future black, television channels are parties for animated series. Média-Participations has made the choice to build on its own ability to control the chain of production of cartoons instead of simply selling rights. A decision somewhat opposite from that of the U.S. Marvel, creator of the American superhero Spider-Man, Batman, X - Men and other, which went bankrupt several times before wealth through the adaptation of his films by major Hollywood studios. It remained small and eventually be purchase by the biggest exploiter of hero of the planet, Disney. Today, activity books Média-Participations represents half of the turnover (including two-thirds for the BD and the rest for classic books) and audiovisual slightly more than 10, with 1,500 hours of programming to the catalog. The Group also launched in video games and multimedia.
Publishers, traditionally integrated vertically with printing and which were almost all abandoned this activity, will convert, like media-Participations, horizontal integration, investing all types of dissemination, including the Internet, rather than simply selling rights, as they have always been with the film But what is their value on the Internet Face uncertainty, keep several irons in the fire. For more, with the emergence of new intermediaries, such as Apple, which pre raise their contribution to the title of owner of the platform, it is perhaps preferable to keep control of the publishing of content. This has several implications. The trade became more capital-intensive should invest in technology (5-6 million for a series) and this also requires to find the critical size to absorb these investments. Where the temptation to Média-Participations, including sales, like the rest of the Edition, is almost stable from one year to another, to seek to enter the world of great literature by acquisition. Hence its failed attempts to redeem Editis.
This is a Copernican revolution to ask professionals of the book to become specialists in content, the creation, of what Vincent mountain, the CEO of media - Participations, called a "lovers universe". Because, at the same time, the book is sophisticated and becomes an object of luxury, we offer (the case of a BD in three), which becomes a pleasure purchase. The film is in three dimensions, the Internet is a world of specialists. We must therefore strengthen its competence also in each area. Mastering the universe and each of its components, a biblical challenge only a manufacturers of missals (transformed into magazines) could meet.