Look at the vicious circle of Comics: too radical means of realization, hard for authors to produce good works and hard to retain users


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Wen / Yu songye
Source: it source (ID: baoliaohui)
In 2014, Chen Annie, an online cartoonist, published Tiao man “I’m sorry, I only live 1% of my life” on her micro blog, announcing her entrepreneurship in the form of Tiao man. With 250 million reading and hundreds of thousands of comments, Annie Chen’s high popularity has been revealed.
In the field of vertical comics, it’s not too early to read comics. In 2013, with the great success of “100000 cold jokes” and “brother corpse”, the evil cartoon and Tencent animation both came out of the circle and led the cartoon track. The fast-looking cartoon, which was launched only at the end of 2014, can only “develop indecently” under the shadow of both.
Time has changed. As of July last year, the total number of users of Kuai manga has exceeded 200 million, with more than 40 million monthly live users and more than half of the market share. On May 13, Evergrande Research Institute launched “China Unicorn report: 2020”, and the comic book was on the list, with an estimated value of US $1.625 billion, ranking No.10 in China’s cultural and entertainment media category.
In the early years, Kuai manga, which experienced the disputes of plagiarism and piracy, has already embarked on the realization of copyright payment. But this road, read the cartoon quickly, go very unpopular. The ugly platform, the silent author and the angry users interweave the images of all creatures on the platform of quick reading cartoons.
Double payment, controversial
In the early years, the quick look cartoon app was called “free comics”. The word “free” was clearly used to facilitate the accurate retrieval of keywords by “white whoring party”. It is undeniable that the free mode has helped the comic strip to expand the market effectively. On the other hand, Chen Annie, who is popular on Weibo because of her girlish style, is familiar with the charm of “maiden man” and “Tiao man”. It has also become a magic weapon to read comics.
According to the report on Aurora big data, from November 2016 to April 2017, the average dau of kuaibao comics was about 5.92 million, which was the first in the industry and 2.4 times that of Tencent animation. The leading position in the industry, let quick read cartoon decided to test the water payment mode, to reverse the situation that had been burning money and subsidizing.
Quick look comics began to test the water payment mode in 2017. In August 2019, Annie Chen had the confidence to say at the online media exchange meeting: “it is expected that the revenue in member payment will achieve 100% growth in 2019.” This means that the payment model has been successful after more than two years of polishing. However, the success of the payment model does not mean that the status of quick view cartoon in the hearts of users is still strong. In recent years, kuaibao cartoon has always been accused of fancy money and looks ugly.
On the issue of payment, users are most dissatisfied with the issue of double payment. Many users of cartoon express that they still have to pay to read comics after they open their membership.
In this regard, the official explanation of kuaibao comics is that “the rights and interests of members include 8.50% discount for members, free voucher, three words in advance, and free works of KK coins per day. All rights and interests can be viewed on the current page of the top up page. Click to have a more detailed explanation. There is no right to read all paid comics for free. ”
Chen AI returned to the recharge page after reading the cartoon and found that the page displayed “current page open members, free to see all the following (XX words)”
In response, she was quite angry: “each word of these two sentences is a pit! “Current page” means that if you do not pay on the current page, but go to the VIP section to open up members, you will not be able to enjoy the rights of “free viewing”. And this “free look” refers to free viewing of the updated chapters of the cartoon you are reading. As for the chapters updated after this cartoon, as well as other comics, you need to pay KK (see the virtual currency for purchasing comics, 1 yuan = 100KK) to buy
As for the word game of fast reading cartoon, many users are angry, “if the open member still can’t read the cartoon for free, what’s the use of opening member?”
However, the members are not totally useless. According to the official statement of quick view comics, users will get a certain amount of KK coins when they open the membership meeting. However, when the free KK coins are used up, users still need to pay for another KK coins to continue to unlock and read the comics.
In addition, members can also buy cartoons at a discount of 85%, but some users said, “the so-called 85% discount is a marketing method. Now, it costs a lot to read a cartoon on a quick read cartoon. Take a cartoon of 100 words as an example. If 10 free words are deducted, the remaining 90 words need to pay 42kk for each word, which is equivalent to 0.42 yuan. In other words, it costs another 30 or 40 yuan to read a complete cartoon. A cartoon of about 100 words is short. Many comics start with two or three hundred words, and the cost can be imagined. This kind of charging mode is a big economic burden for heavy comic fans. ”
As for the issue of double charges for quick reading comics, Zhu Shirui, a lawyer, told the “it disclosure collection” that “reducing the amount of consumption by opening up members is an effect, and there is no problem with it.”
Even if the word game is used, the double charge for reading the cartoon is indeed legal and compliance, which makes many users only think that they are dumb.
In addition to double payment, the free KK currency is only 15 days old, and there are still open screen ads after opening members, which are also the places where users denounce reading comics quickly.
Fans and writers
Cheng Yun, who used to serialize his works on the comic strip, told “it news gathering” that “I earn 2800 yuan for every new word I update.” In this way, even if the membership price is 42kk, more than 6600 people need to buy the words to afford the author’s salary. As a result, the quick reading cartoon shortens the trial period of a work. As long as the initial data of the work is not good, it will be cut off directly, thus obliterating some potential excellent comics, and some authors can only run away in dismay.

Experienced users who read comics quickly said that they used to like a cartoon very much. The plot and painting style are very good. Because the author wants to work slowly, so the update is slow, the flow is not big, and the result is cut off. Look at comics now, women are the majority of comics. Elements like Marius and domineering president are very popular, but good works with depth are forced to “miscarry”.
The attention of girls’ list is much higher than that of teenagers’ list
The popularity of female to cartoon reflects the current situation that female users of fast reading cartoon are dominant. According to the big data statistics of Aurora, 57.2% of female users are female users, and most of them are young people under the age of 24. Such a user group has a high degree of coincidence with fans of rice circles. Therefore, some bad habits of rice circles have been brought to read comic books.
“I don’t know when. I’m going to see the comments section of the cartoon. Some users engage in fan circle culture and worship the author as an idol. Specifically, it is not allowed to have different voices in the comment area, not to say that the content of the cartoon is not good, and not to give opinions to the author, otherwise it will be besieged by many fans. ” There are users who make complaints about comic books.
Due to the deterioration of the comment environment, the author can not hear the pertinent opinions and live in flattery and false praise, which makes it difficult for the author to make progress and fall into the prison of creation. Maybe it’s because you don’t want to offend the owner. The cartoon is absent in the restriction and guidance of the wind direction in the community. As a result, the rice circle culture gradually takes root and becomes a cancer of the platform.
In addition to the fan circle culture, some authors are suspected of actively choosing “degenerate”. Jiang Yuan, a girl lover, “some of the authors are obviously watering their works, and make complaints about the plot more compact. There is a cartoon, I have been chasing for nearly 3 years, but there is still no important progress in the love line between the male and female protagonists. My heart is tired! ”
A number of users contacted by “it news gathering” reported that there was a lack of plot power in the later stage of the comic strips they were chasing. In the summer of 2019, the Xianxia drama “petition” became a phenomenal film and television drama. It not only made Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo popular, but also brought the original novel “the founder of the devil road”. By the way, it also brought a wave of traffic to the comic strips adapted from the novel. The full love of star chasing girls for love beans overflows into the cartoon.
Now, a year later, many users found that the content of the comic book “the founder of the devil’s road” is becoming more and more popular, and the monologue plot is seriously insufficient than before. Some users even went to the official customer service to reflect this problem, but they did not get a response.
It is worth noting that as a result of becoming a popular cartoon, the price of founder of the devil’s road has experienced a price rise. At present, the price of its single chapter is 68kk, and the membership price is 58kk, which is higher than that of most comics on the platform.
In the case of constant plot capacity, pouring water into the works will undoubtedly make the platform and the author earn more money. But after the works are filled with water, keen users will be aware of it.
Facing the giant, the stamina is insufficient
At present, the head players of domestic vertical cartoon platforms are mainly kuaibao, Tencent animation and bilibilibili comic. The basic profit model includes paid reading, advertising revenue, peripheral authorization and IP commercialization.
At present, paying for reading is undoubtedly the main revenue channel for fast reading comic books, but it is not a healthy business model. Comics industry is located in the upstream of cultural industry, which is usually the birthplace of IP. It has gathered the most original and most loyal fans for IP cage. But as we all know, the film and animation in the downstream of the industrial chain is the most profitable link.
Due to the unknown risk of the works, producers can often get the copyright of the works at a lower price. When the adapted film and television works or animation are successful, the producers can often get a lot of IP dividends. As the IP mother’s cartoon platform and author, they can only do one hammer deal.
At the beginning of her business, Annie Chen stressed: “we want to be the Disney of China.” Obviously, Annie Chen knows that relying on IP to make movies and animations of IP is a healthy business model. For a long time, Disney’s main revenue has come from IP film and animation works. Comics, a relatively old content carrier, are hard to find in Disney’s revenue.
However, the current fast reading cartoon has not yet developed a cultural industry other than comics. In 2018, the cartoon “take my brother away” which was exclusively serialized in Kuai Kan comics was adapted into online dramas and movies successively, both of which achieved good market response. However, the producers behind them were Penguin film and Wanda film. The film and television industry is now monopolized by several giants due to its high cost and high barriers. Look at the comics, their own work has not been done well, and it seems that there is no future for us to get involved in the film and television industry.
At present, the status of quick reading comic books is more like blindly collecting users’ wool, which will only make users hard to bear and finally leave. After all, Bili Bili comics and Tencent animation, backed by the big tree of capital, have not yet embarked on the road of large-scale paid reading. Bili Bili comics has launched the “wait for free” section. Some paid comics can be unlocked after a certain time for users to watch for free. Tencent animation in the paid works launched “see advertising free reading”, that is, a large number of chapters of the work can be read for free under the premise of choosing to see the advertisement.
In addition, the weak and powerless comic books have to face the impact of dimension reduction from competitors’ industrial ecology. ACG (animation, comics, games) have always been inseparable. Tencent and bilibilibili have their own animation business and game business, which can reverse the blood transfusion and drainage of comic business, forming an industrial closed loop. Because of their abundant capital and huge wealth, they have also successfully signed many high-quality creators and cartoon copyrights.
In addition to competitors, the rampant of pirated comic websites has also had a huge impact on the comic strip. In addition, we found that the scabbard of Korean comics has been constantly updated on the IT website. These pirated cartoon websites can be easily retrieved from the search engine, which has hidden and huge lethality to the fast reading comic books which vigorously promote the payment mode.

“The way to trade is easy for the hard to break.” It’s not wrong to look for the realization of the comic book, but the method is too rapid, which not only offends the users, but also pushes the author to the abyss. If authors can’t produce good works, users will be further lost. In the long run, there is an endless vicious circle waiting to see the cartoon.
(Chen AI, Jiang Yuan and Cheng Yun are pseudonyms)
This article does not represent the author’s position