Marvel iPad App and Official Pricing

Hints and whispers staring Wednesday night, and confirmations yesterday have culminated in the actual announcement of Marvel's iPad/iPhone app.

The app will launch with 500 stories (issues?) from various points in Marvel's catalog, with some as recent as Jonathan Hickman's Fantastic Four run, as well as Astonishing X-Men, which has been available on other digital services for some time, and presumably more archive material.  Including Hickman's work is a certainly a step closer to getting new comics on the device, but they don't seem ready to cannibalize their issue market just yet.

The app itself is free, and available from the iTunes app store.  Single comics, and I assume they mean issues, will be priced at $1.99, and the catalog will be expanding weekly. For the time being, Marvel will be offering certain #1 issues for free download, including New Avengers, Captain America, Invincible Iron Man, Thor, and the all ages friendly Super Hero Squad.

So unlike the Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, which is a subscription model, and requires an active web connection, this app features downloads, that are a proprietary format, only readable in this reader, obvisouly eschewing a universal file format that would make something like an mp3 possible for comics.  It's a strategy we saw with the music industry, with negative results, but then Marvel has a lot more footing in comics than any single music entity did.  While I think it would be better for the whole industry to adopt a single marketplace and file format style, this was mostly expected.

I see no problem with the $1.99 price point.  Would I like them cheaper?  Of course, but since new comics cost $3.99, I can't argue with a 50% price reduction.  Granted, it will be interesting to see what the average consumer actually does with this option.  Until Marvel offers new comics on the same day as comic shop release, I think we'll be seeing a lot of resistance from vocal people on the internet.  The real story will be to see how it expands, but I can guarantee you that if this is successful, we'll be closer to getting new comics than not.  The used and back issue market isn't really an apt comparison, because this is the publisher itself, which has no need to mark down archive material when it's as valuable as ever to someone who wants to read it.  They've also got to keep in mind the direct market who would be none too happy with direct competition at a 50% discount.  But then, they're so dependent on Marvel, for the most part, that they might have no choice.

On the other hand, Marvel has also licensed a lot of this material out to other companies, so there will be some overlap.  Will the material available on Marvel's app be different than the material on Panelfly?  Is this the ComiXology app, or will they have a seperate one, and will that include Marvel material? It's also important to remember that there are plenty of other successful and profitable comic book companies out there other than Marvel. IDW has their own app, and opening that varied content up to a larger audience can only help them.  There's no rule stating that Marvel will necessarily stay the big dog forever, as impossible as the notion may sound now.

As far as the device goes, the iPad might seem like the only game in town now, but it won't be forever, and the price will drop, and then we'll see what happens. It could remain dominant and ubiquitous, like the iPod before it though, and stay the main game in town.

There are a lot of questions to be answered, and we're entering a very exciting time in the development of the comic industry.  The good news is, if you like paper, don't worry, that's not changing for now.  I don't understand why the fans of paper would be against others having more format options, but I've seen it.  If you don't like it, don't buy it, and do what you've always done. 

For another prespective, you can check out BoingBoing's review of the Marvel iPad app. Hint: they still don't like DRM. Big surprise.

Comments

  1. Diabhol Diabhol says:

    So, if my history with my iPod is any guide, I will buy one of these in 2015 and be very happy with it while also wishing that I’d waited a few more months for bigger storage.

    As far as day & date releases of comics…honestly, I’d be willing to wait until the weekend. Possibly even a whole week. I’ve heard you can’t even get pirated comics until Saturday ’cause it takes that long to scan ‘em.

     

  2. IronStark80 IronStark80 says:

    This will get me to buy a iPad

  3. stuclach stuclach says:

    I like the look of the app. It seems very smooth and looks very robust.  I have very high hopes for this medium.  As someone who lives in a rural setting with only one very small comic shop, I fully expect the availability of books from publishers other than the big two to be a big draw for me.  However, unless these apps offer current releases, they won’t get much business from me.  

  4. Neb Neb says:

    Really cool to see Marvel taking the risk.  I am a bit disappointed that there isn’t going to be an across the board format for them (or at least in the beginning there won’t be), but all of this is just another step toward digitalizing comics.  The results will be interesting for sure.

  5. IanX IanX says:

    I do see a problem with the $1.99 price point. This is almost entirely back-issues, which can often be found in print for $1.00.

     For same-day new releases of major ($4.00) titles, I think $1.99 is a bit of a stretch, but I could just about see it. For back-issues and minor titles, I really think this is going to flop.

     In my mind, a comic book issue is comparable to a music single. (The physical copies are certainly priced similarly.) So that leaves me thinking that premium books should cost about $1.29, and the rest should go for 99 cents, or even 79 cents for older stuff.

     When the newspapers talk about charging nearly as much for digital content as they do for their print editions, we all laugh them off stage, and say that the bullheadedness of a stubborn medium resisting inevitable change is going to lead to the death of the newspaper. Why don’t we hold comics to the same standard?

    I didn’t pre-order an iPad, because I wanted to see how the publishers handled things. (I think the device itself is perfect as a comics reader.) Now I know– They aren’t handling it at all, it’s the same ridiculous pricing we were seeing on the other mobile apps.

    Marvel, ComiXology, etc. had a chance to revolutionize the comics industry, move into a new era, and broaden the audience of readers phenomenally in a way that would increase volumes and sales of trades/collections. If this is their plan, they have botched it.

     New titles should be $1.29. Back issues should be 99 cents. Collections should be discounted from the total cost of the issues. Omnibus-length collections of really old stuff should go for $9.99. Do that, and things would change. Stay the course, and you can bet the audience and sales will continue to slowly retract, and the only way to make real money will be the movies. 

  6. IanX IanX says:

    Paper back issues usually cost $1-$2. Now they will be $2 for a copy that I can’t hold, keep, or get signed.

    Trade paperback collections usually cost $10-$15. Now they will cost $12-$20 for individual issues that I can’t hold, keep, or get signed.

    It just does not make sense to me that a digital copy of something is worth more than a tangible copy. Maybe, at a stretch, it’s worth the same, but I really feel that a digital discount is obvious.

    I see the point that new issues cost $4 these days, so $2 looks like a discount. However, that isn’t valid unless the pricing includes same-day-release new issues. Can I get the NEXT issue of Fantastic Four the Wednesday it comes out? Or is this just the stuff that’s in the back-issue section and/or out as a trade? Also, do digital copies of $3 books cost less than digital copies of $4 books?

  7. s1lentslayer s1lentslayer says:

    If all publishers got on board I would switch to digital immediately.

  8. gobo gobo says:

    Not to mention if you go through something like DCBS you can already get 2.99 books for less than $2, so you’d actually be paying more for the digital version than the print version in that case.

    I’m not saying it’s "wrong" to set this price, it’s up to Marvel to maximize profit, if no one buys it at 1.99 and Marvel can make money at 0.99 I hope they’ll cut the price (maybe to 1.49 first as a test)  

    Unlike @IanX I don’t see any point in reducing the price on collections, certainly not to $10 for an omnibus length, it’s not like with print where they save money by printing things in one volume, the cost/issue doesn’t go down at all that way.

  9. IanX IanX says:

    @gobo – Even on iTunes, an album usually costs less than the individual tracks. It’s not about less production cost, it’s about encouraging people to buy more at once. It’s good business sense.

  10. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    If your interest lies in holding, keeping, getting signed, a physical copy then obviously, this is not a valid option.  If you’re like me, and don’t want any more heavy ass stacks of paper around, the digital format is a premium.

    I used to be like that with CDs, and then I just let go, and now I haven’t bought one for years. To each their own.

  11. kwoktalk kwoktalk says:

    It’s a nice start. I think of the major comic readers we’ve seen, the Comixology viewer is my personal favorite. But the pricing on older material is still a barrier for me, especially when I look at it from a trade/arc perspective. Use the first arc of Wolverine: Enemy of the State as an example. For the first 6 issue arc, I would not be willing to pay $12 (6 issues at $1.99), when I can get the paper format for less than $10 currently online. The space-saving option of digital format has been mentioned as a reason to pay the premium, but I think there are some cons (tied to iPhone/iPad) that negate it for me. If people are ok with $1.99 across the board, more power to them, but for me this pricing model doesn’t quite work.

  12. IanX IanX says:

    @josh – Sure, I can see why a paper copy isn’t really worth a huge premium– but surely a DRMed digital copy isn’t worth MORE than the paper copy. I was trying to list examples of things that add value to a paper copy, not all of them.

  13. gobo gobo says:

    @IanX Only if the album is more than 9.99/disc otherwise it’s the same cost as x number of singles (at least the ones I’ve seen)

    It’s sure as hell not a 50-75% reduction in cost like you’re suggesting for the omnibi.

  14. IanX IanX says:

    @gobo – Oh, yeah– I don’t think a 50-75% reduction across the board for trades/collections makes sense. But the recent Amazon Glitch taught us how excited people are about comics, when they can read a huge collection of a classic book for around ten bucks. I think the publishers should learn from that moment.

  15. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    Yes, that people really like expensive things for little to no money. Sell stuff at a gigantic loss, and people will buy it. This is not rocket science.

  16. gobo gobo says:

    @IanX There’s learning and there’s losing a fuckload of money :) The omnibus glitch would have been the latter.

  17. IanX IanX says:

    @gobo – Sure, because printed Omnibuses have a production expense. There’s no such loss for having some steals on digital collections to draw in new readers, right?

  18. IanX IanX says:

    @josh – That’s a fair point, but I don’t think that’s all there was to it. I wanted to read those books, but a premium $80 edition isn’t the way to get me to buy them. An inexpensive digital edition solves everyone’s problems. (And I wouldn’t buy a $80 piece of hockey equipment for $10. It wasn’t all about the discount.)

  19. IanX IanX says:

    I can get back issues from my local shop for $1. Why would I pay $2 to get them online?

    I can get 8-issue trades from Amazon for $12. Why would I pay $16 to get them online?

     I can get new comics from DCBS for under $2. Why would I pay the same to get them later online?

  20. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    That’s not entirely true.  When a business isn’t making as much profit as they can on a product, they’re in effect, losing money.  They’re not in this for the good of comics, they’re in it for the maximum shareholder value.

    And it’s up to you, the consumer to decide what is and isn’t worth it.  This doesn’t seem horrible to me, but it does to you.  We’ll see what happens.

    And again, contrary to popular belief, Marvel is not the only game in town.

  21. JonSamuelson JonSamuelson says:

    I think IanX is on point with some of his comments.  Yeah, $2/issue seems like a bargain, and in someways, I guess it is, but I think it’s important to note, that we’d be paying 1/2 as much for something that I be costs Marvel 1/4 as much to produce, so their making an absolute killing off of the switch, but we’re not seeing the savings.  As least with a physical copy of a comic book we’re buying something that has the potential to appreciate in value, or that we can buy cheap when it get’s old, and hasn’t appreciated.  With this pricing model, they get to increase their profits at every single corner.  They don’t have to print anything, they don’t have to distribute anything, they don’t have to make up for the middle-men’s ability to take a cut.  It’s all pure profit, and I just don’t see why a little more of that shouldn’t trickle down to us, the loyal consumer.  It’s highly unlikely that I’ll become involved at $2/issue, because I’d have the opinion that Marvel is just lining it’s pocket’s with my money.  At least with the regular issues, at $3-4/issue, some of that money is going into the pockets of people I actually like (store owners).

  22. gobo gobo says:

    I forgot to mention in my first comment, but one of the main reasons I don’t like the 1.99 price point is I doubt it’s going to help grow the audience. The biggest thing I’m excited about when it comes to digital comics is the ability to get more people reading and experiencing this hobby I love. 

    When they see $1.99 and they can get a TV show for the same price or a song for cheaper, I think they’ll go for the song or TV.

    Then again it’ll hopefully push more people to creator-owned stuff which is mostly 0.99, besides I think there’s more mass appeal to the non-superhero stories.

    It just seems short sighted "Yeah we know our existing base will (probably?) spend 1.99, so lets milk them" then again, if they charged 0.99 and the market isn’t actually there they’d have a much harder time raising it to 1.99 to cover costs.

     

  23. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    Maybe the consumer base should have communicated that to them when they went to $4 issues, because I didn’t see a sales drop.  Just a lot of bitching and then people handing their money over anyway.

  24. IanX IanX says:

    You’re right that we did little to prove to the publishers that $4 comics aren’t acceptable. I do think the point is coming where it’s costing them, but it was after the first wave.

    When comics went to $4.00, most of us had to consider the effect on a real human being we like (our shop owner) combined with a desire to keep reading the major books that we’re hooked on. As this has crept to minor books, we’ve clearly pushed back (look how SWORD #1 sold).

    It’s too soon to tell, but you’re probably right. As a whole, our community looked Marvel (mostly) in the eye and said "Hell No"… and then forked over our $4 anyhow.

    I really WANT to be excited about this– I’m an early adopter, a huge Marvel fan, and an Apple fanboy. At $1 per backissue issue, and $1.50-$1.99 for new issues, I’d be buying a $500 iPad, and shifting my $40 a week mostly over to those comics. I won’t be forking over $2 per book for digital back issues.

  25. icn1983 icn1983 says:

    $1.99 isn’t a great price point but it’s not terrible.  As far as paper comics are concerned, well, they’ll probably go the way of everything else printed that has an online equivalent that’s either cheaper or free.  Comic book shops will suffer, but a number of them deserve it.  The only thing is that I’ve definitely had iTunes delete all my songs before, which sucks, but having it delete all my comics?  Yikes.

    The thing that interests me more is Netflix Streaming on the iPad.  I think this might be a better model, an online "library" of books that I can read at any time for a modest monthly/yearly fee.  Think about it though, either way, we’re entering a post-ownership era.  For better and worse. 

  26. Dam i was hoping it would be .99 cent an issue. After all i thought the whole price rise in comics was more to do with the rising cost of paper and the higher grade papers they use today. Surely the fact that it is now out of the equation they should be cheaper. Having said that i would not mind buying brand new issues for 1.99 because i could still buy new avengers and have the extra budget for an indie issue, but back issues should NOT be 1.99. even stuff a year old should not cost that much

  27. gobo gobo says:

    For those of you worried about losing your books on the iPad. Since this is a Comixology app they keep track of what you’ve bought and you can just redownload it at any point once you’ve bought it.

    I can’t speak to the iBookstore stuff when it comes out, but with the existing platforms it’s not going to be an issue.

  28. TeleCarlos TeleCarlos says:

    I’ll be getting one, when I have the spare cash. Gotta get one for my daughter too I guess. Nice to see Marvel got on this quickly, as IDW did. It’s a new market as far as pricing goes. Honestly,… we’ll see how it all balances itself eventually. Gotta admit, aside from pricing, this futuristic thingamjig its truly awesome. Devide, pp and what it allows you to do.

  29. JonSamuelson JonSamuelson says:

    @gobo

    Exactly, it just feels like they’re milking us because they can, whereas the could vastly expand their market by trying a lower pricepoint.

  30. gobo gobo says:

    @Jon It’s entirely possible if everyone but Marvel is making boatloads of money at 0.99 Marvel will feel the pressure and follow suit.  To do that though we need to get more people reading than are right now.

  31. IanX IanX says:

    It’s also entirely possible that the other publishers will see Marvel charging $1.99 for back issues, and decide to take the easy way out and follow-suit. Short term, it will seem good for them, because they take less risk. Long term, we continue to lose readers and the entire industry suffers.

  32. gobo gobo says:

    They know they aren’t Marvel, and for the most part charge less than Marvel in print also.  That’s probably not going to happen.

    Marvel’s been on the iPhone for a long time now and has been charging 1.99 the whole time, pretty much everyone else is charging 0.99 and that hasn’t changed.

    We know a lot of publishers think 0.99 is the right price point, I don’t see that changing.

  33. HBD HBD says:

    My first and only question when it comes to digital readers like this one, and the iVerse one, and all the other ones, is: can I load my old digital e-comics onto them and read them, or can I only read the ones I buy through the app?

  34. gobo gobo says:

    @HBD Currently only through the app, when Longbox gets an iPad app it might let you put CBRs/PDFs on it.

  35. IanX IanX says:

    The iPad supports standardized epub files, from what I have heard.

  36. Gabe Roth Earwigg (@gaberoth) says:

    I like Amazon’s Kindle model, which offers downloadable apps that allow me to read books on my Mac and Iphone.  Marvel’s got the Ipad and Iphone covered, but it seems like the next logical step would be to deliver a similar Marvel app that works on one’s computer.  that doesn’t exist yet…does it?  Thoughts?

  37. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    Here’s the thing about these back issues, I don’t have a problem with the price, but the fact is, I’m not their market.  I wasn’t going to buy them anyway. 

  38. IanX IanX says:

    @Earwigg – I think that would be fantastic. It’s actually part of why I’d rather see Marvel use iBookstore than a standalone app– let Apple handle the clients, and the content will show up in more platforms.

  39. IanX IanX says:

    @josh – Right, but they aren’t saying they will have same-day releases on Wednesday, right? So isn’t this ONLY for back issues?

  40. gobo gobo says:

    @IanX You can import an ePub file with the Books app, but I’ve never seen a comic book in epub format. (Not saying they don’t exist, I’ve just never seen one)

  41. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    Just because I don’t want it, doesn’t mean someone doesn’t.

  42. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    What I mean to say is, just because this is not new issues, it doesn’t preclude them. In fact, this can only help that. At least that’s my opinion.  These companies aren’t going to change direction that fast.  Baby steps.

  43. IanX IanX says:

    If their strategy is to only offer back-issues, fine. But I think that blows apart the "these comics could be $4, so $2 is a steal" argument. These comics are cheapass back issues, not brand new $4 comics.

  44. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    Then don’t buy them. I can’t figure out why that would upset anyone.

  45. IanX IanX says:

    @Josh – I’m not personally upset. I just think it would be better for all of us (the publishers, creators, and consumers) if comics made a transition to digital that could expand the audience and volumes. I see it as a missed opportunity to make me (and people like me) happy in a way that causes me to give the publishers (and thus creators) more money.

  46. Doughboy says:

    I think I’m in the target audience for this.  I bought the ipad mainly to read comics and surf the web.  I only buy comics in trade and only got back into them about four years ago. There’s a large back catalogue from the mid-80s to the present that I have not read. 

    For me, spending .99 is easy.  I don’t even think about it.  Spending 1.99 is different.  That amount makes me pause and think "do I really want this?".  Especially if i’m buying in bulk.  Do I want to drop $50 on the digital versions of Astonishing X-Men 1-24?  I haven’t read it yet, but that price is enough to make me stay away.

    If back issues were .99, I’d be spending a lot of money tomorrow when my ipad arrives.  At 1.99, I might buy a couple of six-issue runs to check out some things I haven’t yet bought in trade.  For a lot of the older stuff, trade paperbacks from Amazon or Instock Trades are cheaper than the digital versions.

    As for new issues, I would be all for spending 1.99.  I wouldn’t mind paying a premium to keep up to date.  For me, spending 1.99 each on a handful of books that come out once a month is a lot different than spending 1.99 each on 50 books that came out 20 years ago.

  47. Joppe Joppe says:

    I have no problem with the price. However I have a problem with just old issues. If they want to compete with piracy, which they do even if they dont want to, they need to offer current issues. Otherwise people will just buy ComicZeal and pirate the content.

  48. IanX IanX says:

    @Joppe – I’d say it isn’t about the price, it’s the price combined with what you get. $1.99 for brand new comics sounds okay to me. $1.99 for back issues sounds daffy.

  49. zenman zenman says:

    As an iPad doubter, I have to admit that this looks pretty sweet.

  50. TeleCarlos TeleCarlos says:

    Lots of CEO wannabe around here! This is easy, up or down, yes or no, buy or not buy vote. When you become CEO or own your own multi-million dollar company, then you can come on these boards and teach us how its done. Otherwise, it just sounds whiny. Zip it bros! Xcept Josh, he’s been polite. And some others too.

    Forgot why I don’t read much of these anymore….

    Love u all thou!!!!!

  51. cahubble09 cahubble09 says:

    I don’t think this will affect purchasing behavior of existing comic readers/collectors. Why would I want to spend $2 for a comic that I can purchase for $1.49-$1.79 on DCBS? I might spend $1 for a digital comic and splurge $8+ for hard copies of the occasional variant covers that come out. At this point, though, does anyone REALLY believe that the habits and opinions of existing readers/collectors (whatever they may be… pro OR con) will change dramatically by the introduction of the iPad and the Marvel app? I don’t think so.

    I DO, however, think that, from the perspective of Marvel, Apple, and any other comic book publisher out there, the value of this new platform is the opportunity to EXPAND NEW MARKETS. Conduct a market survey in ten years. Who wants to bet that the demographic of the reading population will be radically different from what it is today?

  52. Joppe Joppe says:

    TeleCarlos, so as a customer we are not allowed to have an opinion?

  53. zenman zenman says:

    I don’t think that most consumers in this target market, who are already willing to spend upwards of $800+ on an iPad, are losing sleep over a $1.99 price point on e-comics.

  54. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    $.50 cents more for the convenience of not having to wait x days for your comics might be a value to some.  Plus, with shipping costs, it’s not much of a savings if any.

  55. zenman zenman says:

    Additional $ savings:  boards, bags, boxes, band-aids (for those nasty paper cuts).  No physcial space storage issues.  Plus it’s good karma to save a few trees.  Damn, I’m beginning to talk myself into buying one of these things.

  56. Joppe Joppe says:

    Zenman, no, but they need to offer what most people want to buy. I belive that it is current issues.

  57. zenman zenman says:

    @Joppe:  I’d predict that current issues will be eventually be offered.  This is just the beginning of a radical (transformative) moment in the way comics are sold and distributed.  Baby steps.

    The beauty is that the market will eventually decide all of these debates.  Sufficient demand will always facilitate the supply.

  58. cahubble09 cahubble09 says:

    JMO, but I still think that Apple and Marvel could really give a hoot about which platform existing customers (in a specialized, narrow niche market) use to purchase and read their comic books. This is more about opening up new markets and increasing accessibility. Think about it. That grand shift in distribution from newstands to speciality stores that occurred in the 70s and 80s will now (essentially) be reversed practically overnight. Granted, the iPad market won’t be quite as big as availability through newstands was, but the potential market will be dramatically expanded. I bet the price of a movie ticket that we’ll see the iPad making cameo appearances in the upcoming Marvel films.

  59. Joppe Joppe says:

    Zenman, I still say that they dont have time for baby steps. They have a chance right now to avoid piracy.

  60. TeleCarlos TeleCarlos says:

    Yes! I defend everyone’s right to have an opinion! I have many crazy ones too. I learned that just because something may not be right for me, make not make sense to me, or have a general dislike for, make my opinion on it right. Hell I thought the iPod was stupid when it came out. Now, oh how I loved the many I’ve had! Same with Macs, disliked them, Then loved them after got tired of learning too much about fixing and trouble shooting My XP rather than recording music, which is what I wanted.  And I’ve learned to apoligize for being harsh! Ipad, not for everyone. but for the one’s who will find a use for it, it will be superbly invaluable!

    Remember when cell phones were only for biz people? Now they are practically free! Almost a necesity. Time, will tell.

     

    Happy readings!

  61. Neb Neb says:

    In regards to the price, I think Josh’s point rings true the most.  I think a lot of us are a little bit too close to this one, thinking that Marvel is making this app just for comic book people.  I don’t think that’s the purpose of this thing at all.

    I think this app is for people who are holding their sexy, new device.  They’re staring at the wonderous glory of the pixelated screen.  They notice this app while tooling around that has Marvel comics, and they think, "Oh, I like Spider-Man." or "I read those things when I was a kid." They click on it and behold here are comics, both free and priced at $1.99.  Now, if I wasn’t someone who went to a comic book store recently, I would have no idea that regular issues are $3.99.  I would just buy them at $1.99 because they’re cool and fun to read on my iPad or I would download the free issues and read them, maybe finding one I like enough to buy the next issue or installment for $1.99.   

    I think if Marvel wanted this application to be for us, they would have day and date release with their newest titles.

  62. AquaPimp82 AquaPimp82 says:

    Two things would that would have to happen to get me to switch to digital: 1. Day and date releases 2. Lower prices. I think .99 cents is the sweet spot. I mean, how much does it really cost Marvel to make digital versions of these books? It can’t be all that much. Why can’t they pass some of that savings on to us? Another thing, when the hell is DC going to get their head out of the sand and do something in the digital realm?

  63. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    There are costs involved in digital production, not to mention the fact that they actual material itself has value.They have no motivation to pass any savings on to you.  They have a motivation to make the maximum profit possible.

    DC Comics has Zuda, which is no small thing, in terms of digital.

    And yes, I think when it’s all said and done, the existing comics market (us) is nearly insignificant, and they don’t need to market to us, because we’re already buying hard copies of books, and we’re not going to stop.  How do they get those other people, instead of the ones they already have?  This is their first attempt.

  64. MacAoidh MacAoidh says:

    I don’t mind 1.99 as a starting price for comics, hopefully competition would drive it down. However, the iPad is way too much to justify as glorified comic reader for the moment. :/

  65. Jesse1125 Jesse1125 says:

    @anyone… looks like a great idea moving the comic industry forwards, but how would they handle two page splash pages or that wonderful gatefold in Blackest Night#8?Reorientation? wouldn’t that shrink the image?

    Also, in my old age I look forward to NOT always being plugged into something; smart phones, email, IM, ipods for music & videos, kindle for books etc. etc. I love that the only energy I need to view and enjoy my floppies/trades is my imagination

  66. KickAss KickAss says:

    $0.01 is the price point for a single comics on Marvel Digital Comics.

    That’s right, $0.01. 

    That’s $60/5,000comics = $0.01.

    You people pushing the iPad are nuts.

  67. cahubble09 cahubble09 says:

    @KickAss: Why bother with Marvel Digital Comics if you can’t comfortably read them?

    p.s. full disclosure … I’m pushing the 2050 X-Generation of the iPad … when it works well and becomes affordable. 

  68. gobo gobo says:

    Except you have to pay for that forever, so really every comic on Marvel Digital Comics costs infinity dollars.

    You can also only read them on your computer

    You can also only read them when connected to the internet

    They also regularly don’t have complete runs of things

    The reader is also terrible

    It’s not the same thing as reading them on the iPad.

  69. stuclach stuclach says:

    The best thing (and sometimes the worst thing) about the free market is that if you want something, someone is going to produce it.  If you don’t like what Marvel is doing, don’t buy their product.  Either they will change or another company will offer what you want.  Competition is a hell of a thing.

  70. Crippler Crippler says:

    OH… oh…. wow.  Please hurry 2nd generation iPad.. please hurry.  I swore I’d wait for you, but the heart gets what the heart wants.

  71. cahubble09 cahubble09 says:
  72. KickAss KickAss says:

    @Gobo-So you’ve read comics on the iPad?

    You only own a desktop?  Because a laptop is much more comfortable for reading.  And if an iPad has internet, then it has Marvel Digital Comics.  Essentially the same thing when it comes to back issues, much cheaper.

    Have you seen what’s in their collection?  http://marvel.com/digitalcomics/titles/

  73. gobo gobo says:

    @KickAss Not first hand but I’ve sene the same videos as everyone else and read them on my iphone

    If I’m on a plane? No Internet.  If I’m in the US? No 3G internet. All travel times where I can’t use Marvel Digital Comics and when I’d really like to readcomics.

    Yes I’ve looked at the collection, it gives you a taste of lots of things but I’ve seen lots of runs that aren’t complete on it for seemingly no good reason.

    I’ve got a laptop but I’m not sure what that has to do with anything.

  74. snake101 says:

    4$ was to much and now i dont buy issues anymore. i maybe buy the first issue and if it is good i wait for the trade as with "choker"

  75. JesTr JesTr says:

    It is offical, I want one. I’ll wait for an updated iPad, but i will get one later on.  I’ll probably still by physical issues just not as many.  I’ll buy first issues and see if I like them on the iPad. If I like them, I’ll buy the trades or physical issues.  With the lower price point on issues, this is a money saver in the long run.

  76. Unoob Unoob says:

    The propietary format is interesting. Considering you can buy a ton of Marvel back issues already IN a universal format, if you buy their previous product. HERE. That’s 33 cents a piece in PDF format. PDF already has a reader for the ipad as well. Now they may not be ALL the same stuff, but wouldnt you LOVE to walk around with all of those classic runs? THAT ALONE might be enuff for me to get an Ipad.

  77. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    Those Marvel PDFs certainly do make the iPad an attractive way to read them.

    I end up reading a lot of PDF preview material on my desktop computer, a 24" screen, and while I’ve gotten used to it, I love the idea of being able to move away from the desk a bit.  Granted, this is not problem for most average readers.

  78. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    Hey IanX: You got quoted in PCWorld!

     And they completely ignored me! ;-)

  79. gobo gobo says:

    Gotta love how PC World’s actual content only takes up about 1/4 of the page. Sorry, tangent…

  80. Price point aside, why have neither Marvel nor DC been able to publish comprehensive, new online comics every Wednesday? I have been in the market to digital for years, and I would’ve gladly done it on a desktop first. Unless I missed something…

  81. Joppe Joppe says:

    WilliamScurryJr, they are affraid to upset Diamond and all the retailers. And they dont want to trade their fysical dollars to digital cents.

  82. KickAss KickAss says:
  83. PostMan87 PostMan87 says:

    Overall time, trail-and-error, price point changes, etc……

    This will a be a wait-and-see game for me. I’m not opposed to this but many things have to change in order to eventually coax me into, first, dropping a bunch of $ to buy the device. Also, books ALL being available day-and-date on Wednesdays, etc! 

    It’s neat, but I enjoy getting my books every week and holding them while reading. 

  84. bulletproof bulletproof says:

    My pre-ordered iPad doesn’t ship till April 12th. @iFanboy – any chance you guys will do a video review of the iPad?

  85. Stepho Stepho says:

    Great now I’m interested in the iPad, that was never meant to happen.

  86. flapjaxx flapjaxx says:

    Yep, I always knew they’d be $2. At first people would balk at that price but, on cue, once cover prices start rising to $4, of course that $2 price point looks a lot better.

  87. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    @bulletproof – I don’t know what we’ll be doing, but there won’t be a loss for iPad reviews out there.

    @flapjaxx – start rising to $4? We’re there.

  88. Stepho Stepho says:

    @Josh – but be sure to at least tell us if you like the marvel app on the iPad.

  89. gobo gobo says:

    @Stepho I hope Josh and everyone else goes with the full Comixology app instead of the Marvel only app that Comixology put out.

  90. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    What are you new here? When would I exclusively use a Marvel app when there are so many different options?

  91. gobo gobo says:

    I was mostly pointing out to @Stephno (and anyone else who seems to think that Marvel is the only iPad app out there for comics or something) that there is a full version of Comics by Comixology that has all the content the Marvel app does and stuff from pretty much every other publisher aside from IDW and DC.

  92. KickAss KickAss says:

    Marvel’s print comics are also cheaper than $1.99.

    Subscription = $20/12 issues = $1.66 per issue.  "WE HAVE A WINNER!"

  93. cahubble09 cahubble09 says:

    Checked out the Marvel app … also available for iPod (Touch at least) …

    One potentially cool thing … the first 25 issues of Amazing Spider-Man (1963), first 19 issues of X-Men (1963) and first 10 issues of Fantastic Four (1961) are available at $2/issue… I own the DVD-ROM collections, but I could see these selling well. I don’t know what process they use to restore the original coloring, but these are not scanned .PDFs … don’t know if these are available on the digital site also…

    Very little FREE on the app though … surprise surprise … 

  94. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    It works really nicely, and looks good. I can give it that much.

  95. Doughboy says:

    Both the Marvel app and the Comixology app are great on the iPad. I grabbed a bunch of the free comics and checked them out the two apps are basically the same. The only real difference I noticed was that the Marvel app only sells Marvel titles (as expected).

    I’m very happy with the apps and the iPad.

  96. KickAss KickAss says:

    If they can offer subscription print comics at $1.66, that at least shows they should offer digital comics at $1.50.  They don’t have to spend money on color ink or shipping.  You’d be a fool to pay $1.99 for digital. 

    I’d like to see them at $0.99.  At a rate of $1.99, that’s $20 for 10 comics, which you could get cheaper in print elsewhere, http://www.amazon.com, etc.

  97. WonderManFan WonderManFan says:

    When the comic book price point jumped to the outrageous price of $4 an issue, I stopped buying comics completely.  Before that, I was buying about 10-15 books a month.  Although this new product looks nice, I can’t get past the high price point for a digital issue.  Hopefully they will realize that the price is much too high.  Until they do, I’ll be ok following the comic book industry from the outside, via your comic book reviews and other comic book related content.  And, I know I’m just one consumer, but Josh, people actually did stop buying comic books because of the $4 per issue price gouging.  

  98. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    There absolutely were people who stopped, but it wasn’t enough to hurt the bottom line very much.

  99. melike melike says:

    Havent fully read the thread yet but let me just say this is great for non US comic fans. Even though the exchange rate conversion works out to be around 3.20$ Aus for a 2.99US$ comic they cost around 8$-9$ locally due to shipping and whatever else. That is a LOT!

     

    Plus theres one comic store in Western Australia..heaven knows what the people who live in rural WA do but it still costs me around 10$ to make a 40 minute trip to the comic shop.. 

    DCBS and the like dont help that much, it helps a bit but to get the price down at all you have to settle with a monthly shipment that takes several weeks to get here and it ends up being around 4-5$ which is better but still..

    Even though they dont have the new stuff yet this is a good first step in this direction – Im really pleased with it and am totally happy to pay 2.5$. I’m sure its the same for people in other countries. 

     

  100. melike melike says:

    Also, im quite happy to pay that price so i dont have to own a physical copy. I know that sounds kinda backwards – but its getting to the point where im just running out of room. It would still cost me more per issue to buy and import from Amazon but even if it didnt id be happy enough with this option. All my bookshelfs are full. 

    Also i dont want a subscription. I might want to buy an arc of something or just a few issues – i dont want to have to commit to a years worth of comics. Plus im sure that the postage to Australia again would bump u p the price considerably.

    Of course some people wouldnt like this option but some do. Im not a big fan of generalisations – i’m certainly no fool. Just because something doesnt work for you doesnt mean that applies to everyone. 

  101. Jediaxle Jediaxle says:

    I haven’t read every comment but @kickass that article you linked was a really bad article.  It states how $499 ipad became $1170, but if you read the article the guy was never going to buy the $499 version he was buying the $829 version which changes the whole article.  This is a guy just trying to get people to read his article so he has that crazy headline.  Which works because you me and ton of other people read it.

    Subscription would be nice kind of like the mail order subscribtion Marvel used to do, hell probably still do but haven’t seen or noticed the ad lately.  I also think $1.99 issue is a pretty good price point.  I’m sure there are things to work out but at least companies are out there trying something.  

  102. Come Christmas this will be mine.

    This’ll shrink my monthly pull, but only solidify my trade/hc shopping. Can’t wait.

  103. muddi900 says:

    I promised myself I wouldn’t post here, because I felt like I was pissing in everyone’s cereal. I did try out the app on iphone, also gave another shot to the comixology app, and they are neat and all but why can’t I have the same ipad app on the desktop?

     

    Please ask the comixologyguys this.

  104. So far I’m loving the Marvel/Comixology and IDW/iVerse apps, but I’m not digging at all that there doesn’t appear to be anyway for me to back up my comics locally.  @gobo mentions that Comixology stores your purchases so you can redownload any purchase at any point in time, but I would really rather not have to rely on any website like that when I’m investing as much money in these books as I expect to.  

    So far today I haven’t been able to log into the Marvel app or the Comixology app for a couple hours and some features on iVerse have been acting up on my for a couple minutes now.  I assume this is just opening day server overload, but still, there’s nothing to say this or something similar couldn’t happen in the future.  I would rather not have to worry about it and just have my books stored on my own computers. 

  105. gobo gobo says:

    @muddi900 They might be working on an app, I don’t really know. They started off on the iphone and went to the ipad.  It’s not just like they can just "Save as OSX version"/"Save as Windows Version" there’s plenty of development that will have to be done to get there.

    Also they’d have to change how the whole ecommerce side works since right now all the comics are sold through iTunes, so Apple handles the credit card processing, and all the security involved in storing credit card numbers.  They’d have to redevelop all of that, then renegotiate new contracts about what the split is since they’ll be making a different amount of money on each sale.

  106. muddi900 says:

    Yes, yes, I understand the complexities of computer programing, sir, I am an engineer. Its just that Desktops are more than capable of doing what the ipad is? 

     

    But wait, Apple controls in app purchases too? :O

     

  107. gobo gobo says:

    @muddi900 Yeah they do, all in app purchases on the ipad/iphone are run through Apple and Apple takes the same percentage as full app store purchases.

  108. UncleBob UncleBob says:

    So I was thinking blah blah blah, who cares?  I’ll just wait till they get something good for laptops.  Then my effin sister comes home with an ipad….. now looking up the variety offered on McDonald’s $1 menu