DC Announces Digital Pricing Plan with Digital/Print Combo Packs

Well, we knew DC would be releasing digital versions of their single issues day and date with their print counterparts this Fall, but the price point was still a mystery. This afternoon DC laid out the plan.

Come August 31st you can buy Geoff Johns and Jim Lee's Justice League #1 for $3.99. That will get you either a print or digital version. Your choice of either pulp or pixels starting on that one day.

But maybe you want to experiment with both formats, maybe even read along on your iPad while your twin sister reads the hard copy. As you speed along on a monorail. I don't know what your life is, but it's the future, so you can do that. Rather than paying out eight bucks, you can actually reach for the special polybag "combo pack." Bagged copies of the print edition–priced at $4.99–come with codes to download a digital copy. That's two copies for just a dollar more than standalone print. Update: As of right now, DC has only said that this bundle is happening with Justice League #1.

If the $3.99 price point for a single digital edition seems too steep, understand two things. This is an oversized issue. And in the first four weeks following August 31st, the title is under what they're calling "parity pricing." Wait a month and the figure goes down a buck to $2.99.

This four-week thing holds true for the digital editions of regular-sized titles. Day and date: $2.99. Wait a month: $1.99.

So we've got some bags and codes in our future.

For this reader, the big question is collected editions and subscriptions. Will digital (only) readers be rewarded with discounts on print collections? Should this whole thing work out, might the publisher experiment with loyal return customers interested in subscriptions to favorite titles. The applicable model is an iTunes Season Pass for television shows. We'll have to wait and see.

Well, iFanbase. We've got some (but not all) of our 52 new titles out in the open, and we've got some new purchase options. What're your plans moving forward and what would you like to see in the coming weeks as DC rolls out more of it's audacious plan? 

 

 

Disclaimer: iFanboy is owned by the digital comics provider Graphicly

Comments

  1. This is awesome news, I’ve been saying for ages that I’d gladly pay £1 more for a print/digital combo.

    Now I just need the rest of the publishing houses to do it! 

  2. i’d love to see a season pass thing to buy a discounted collected editions. In my ideal world, i’ll buy digital issues and if i love the run, buy a print collection for my shelf. I don’t think i’ll buy the print and digital together. I see no point in that. I also like the 4 week parity price. Will make catching up on an old series easier. 

    Whoever makes polybags just got a slight profit bump with this announcement. 

  3. I am so excited for the digital releases.  Its going to save me time, space, and money in the long run.  I’m sorry its going to hurt LCS’s but I’m sure that making comics more accessible is much better for the comics industry in the long run than preserving an ailing brick andm mortar business model.

  4. Paul, you literally made me laugh out loud with that monorail line 😀

  5. Guess I won’t be getting any comics in September and will buy them all in October. Great news I’m just on a college budget.

  6. everytime i see an article about this now someone complains about the phrase “day and date” but you know what, i like it, it’s fun to say. i approve of all of this

  7. I still think the best idea so far has been if you buy all the issues digitally you can redeem a discount coupon for the collected edition at an LCS. Now that would be the most ideal way to integrate both digital and physical copy business models in my opinion

  8. As an international reader I’m curious to know if the price will be the same for me. At the moment I pay a 100% mark up to get my comics on the same day as US customers despite the dollar value of both currencies being near as makes no difference identical.

    What I’m asking is, will these prices be the US$3.99-US$1.99 globally? 

  9. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    This is creating new subsets of reader types. Combo packs, while not offensively priced, don’t really appeal to me personally. Though several people have expressed interest in the concept, so I can’t say it’s a bad idea. Me, I just want a cheap digital issue to keep up week to week, maybe the opportunity to subscribe or bundle or something, and the chance at a discount on an eventual print collection. That’s the model I find most attractive, but as we’ll see, there’s gonna be lots of different strokes. 

  10. The release says parity pricing, not party pricing. And these prices are too high IMO.

  11. Bundling is the right idea, but charging a premium for the digital download is a mistake. 
    They should throw a bone to the direct market (and keep comic retailers in business) by providing free digital downloads as incentive to buy the books in a comic shop.

  12. This is some hot stuff!  I am getting happier and happier about this new era of comics.

  13. I still don’t like to buy comics digitally when you can only access them on a companie’s digital comics reader.

  14. Well I was excited. Anything over $0.99 is a ripoff.

  15. How does a $4 (or $3 depending on the level of the book) digital comic bring in new readers in an age of $1 games that provide longer entertainment value? Where’s the value to the consumer?

  16. It’ll be interesting to see who emerges as the iTunes of comics readers. (Note: this comment does not reflect my feelings about iTunes. It is only an acknowledgement of its position in the marketplace.)

  17. $1.99 four weeks after release.  I can deal with that. 

    I’m a trade-waiter since returning to comics. I haven’t bought single issues since the 1980s.  With DC’s new deal, I will probably buy a few books a month on release day, then pick up a few others when they hit the one-month price drop. 

    I’m surprised to find myself a little giddy about this whole thing. 

  18. @Jagstang  Why should publishers do that?  Should Hasbro throw Wal-Mart a bone?  Should Coca-Cola throw McDonald’s a bone?

    Why should publishers care about the retailers at all?  These are publicly traded corporations, that means that the ONLY thing that they should care about is profit for their shareholders. (whether short-term or long-term profit you can decide)

  19. even if they did do a coupon, would it be cheaper than Amazon? I would venture to see probably not. 

  20. Eh, too pricey. Right now if I want to get my comics a month late at discount, I can do that through something like DCBS, but for cheaper.

    If they want to hook now readers, they need to make it an impulse buy. $4 isn’t an impulse.

  21. @MisterJ – First off, your examples are of producers of physical products, which would only be applicable if anyone believed that digital boardgames or Coke could replace their physical counterparts.

    Because digital comics have the potential to make stand-alone comic shops unsustainable, publishers need to keep in mind the guys who are buying and selling their physical books. Unless publishers intend to do away with physical comics or have another distribution method in mind, they need these retailers to continue to sell their books.

  22. Drawing the line at $2.99. I mean $3.99. Combo pack? $4.99 for JLA. Now I’m just being a dick…

    I do hope they explore a season pass/subscription discount. That makes good sense, since they do it in print stuff for most magazines. DC used to when they did subscriptions – do they still do that, or did Diamond eliminate that?

    Wonder if this will apply the same at my local shop, which gives volume discounts? I might be enticed to pick up combos on some of these.

    But wow, sounds like a lot of polybags to throw away.

  23. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @s1lentslayer  Good catch. I’ve been faking this “I can read” thing for far too long. Or I was typing that line too fast. 

  24. Exactly as I thought it would be. Parity at day/date to appease retailers, and then quickly to a more “broad reach” price at a time that jives with when most retailers would have the single issues off their shelves.
     

  25. I am immensely disappointed in this pricing plan. Same price for the digital copy is just…no. I was really excited for this, thinking it might get me back into comics, but I still can’t justify that price for comics. Maybe I’ll pick up a couple, or maybe I’ll get some 4 weeks late.

    When looking at the value proposition a $3 digital comic just pales in comparison to many of the other deals out there ($1 games). As somebody else said, this does not put it at the point of an impulse buy, and in my opinion that’s a mistake.

  26. from a sustainability perspective this is a bit irresponsible. DC just added 100,000+ oil/corn based polybag pieces of garbage to landfills every month. not a big fan of that. We need less wasteful packaging in this world, not more.  

  27. Why are they interested in appeasing the brick-and-mortar retailers? Are they trying to limit the sales to their existing readers? That seems dumb to me. Or maybe I’m missing something. I’m not an economics guy.

  28. Waiting isn’t so bad. I think I’m going to try it.

  29. @Jagstang  –retailers have no choice in the matter. They’re not going to stop selling DC product to prove a point…that would basically put them out of business. 

  30. Anyone who was expecting $0.99 was living in a fantasy land of their own making.

  31. @Jagstang  You kinda missed the point of my analogy.  Your statement of ‘throwing a bone’ suggests being kindly to the LCS.  This is just bad business and a bad idea.  It is always a bad idea to hold on to an idea that has been dying slowly for the past twenty years.

    As to what I was actually talking about, yes, I believe that WB and Disney want to get rid of books in general, as there is less money to be found there as opposed to digital distribution.  As Egon Spengler said way, way back in 1984, “Print is dead.”  There are certainly better profit margins to be found with a more streamlined delivery system.  Getting rid of brick and mortar stores will do that.

  32. @MisterJ  Hasbro throws Walmart a bone, lots of bones. any bone Walmart wants, because if they dont, Walmart stops carrying their product and they lose a ton of money. DC will throw a bone because statues, toys, shirts and every other piece of merchandise (some very expensive too) bring in a lot of money, and DC wont want to lose that income, at least not risk it until they see if new readers materialize in numbers large enough to cushion the loss of that revenue stream. DC built enough throwable bones into this plan

  33. @Wally – It is in DC’s own best interest to maintain relationships with the retailers, rather than take the cavalier, “screw ’em, we don’t need them anymore” approach. Retailers would be put out of business by 99 cent day and date comics and publishers would lose comic shops as the vehicle for selling their paper copies. There needs to be a balanced approach and I think DC is close to getting it right.

  34. Perfect. I have interest in the combo package, but the pricing is what I expected. I’m a happy comic book customer today. Now we get to see if other publishers have the balls to keep up (other than Kirkman who has already been day and date.)

  35. Sorry. I meant to say I have NO interest in the combo. If only I could edit my post…

  36. I’m confused. If I wait a month to pick this up at my LCS I will get $1 off every book?

  37. Really bummed they’re not going to be $1.99…there’s no way I can justify paying cover price for a digital copy of something. 

  38. @JNewcomb  No if you wait a month you’ll get a dollar off your digital copy

  39. @JNewcomb  yes, thats exactly what they mean

  40. $1.99 doesn’t seem too bad. Of course that means waiting a month, but that’s doable. Parity pricing seems iffy, and I wonder if it will last. Problem with digital remains that you are not buying an item or even a file. You are buying permission to read an issue on supported devices for as long as DC allows it. In 20 years, I’ll still be able to read my paper comics, but digital is a gamble. Fine if you veiw your floppies as disposable, but otherwise newstand prices for digital seems too high. For that price, I’d want an unprotected, open file format.

  41. @Jagstang  — yeah i agree to a point. It would be a pure Dick move to just do a .99 cent thing across the board all of a sudden, but i can see it happening down the road as the market gets competitive. Imagine what will happen when Marvel follows suit. There could be a digital price war. I see this as phase 1 of a larger multi year plan to move away from the DM for DC. 

  42. How many comic shops are going to carry two editions of every book? I’m guessing not many. I wasn’t expecting $.99 but come on. DC can’t pass any of the digital savings on to consumers?

  43. @abstractgeek  How much of those hard product sales does DC actually gain money from?  Aren’t those licensing deals and not home produced?  Correct me if I have the information incorrect, but I do not think that DC has anything to do with those products, save for the original deal and final product approval.  As such, I do not see much validity in the premise. 

    Further, if you give the ‘later down the road’ argument, I would say that their grander plan is to make the IP’s more mainstream so that the very same products will reach a larger audience than will ever go into a LCS.

    Lastly, you are completely incorrect about Hasbro ‘throwing a bone’ to Wal Mart.  Wal Mart is in charge and they tell Hasbro what they will give them and how much they will pay for it.  Hasbro is not being nice, they are capitulating.  Which is exactly what the LCS’s will do.

  44. If my LCS does the one dollar off thing I’m 100% percent in for that!

  45. I’m not interested in combos, and at $2.99, I’ll still be getting a better deal from my LCS for the titles I really want to keep up with. But the $1.99 will be great if I want to try something out a few months in.

    Of course, I still think 99 cents is where this will really get out of control, but I know this is just the beginning.

    The most recent 11 o’clock comics podcast explained it well. There are 15 million iPads out there right now (this post is being typed on one of them), and more are being bought all the time. So even at $3, only 1% of the iPad market would have to bite on a digital comic to have the number comic of the month. 1% doesn’t sound like a tall order to me, so I think we’ll see some books sell more in digital than print before too long.

    So my feeling is that lower prices on digital are just a matter of time as that audience grows and discovers that tons of quality, new comics, featuring characters they know from tv/film/video games are available for instant purchase.

    Yay!

  46. I dont think we will see $.99 comics until after we see TV shows at that price. I actually typed Tv shoes there. im not sure what tv shoes are, but i dont typically wear shoes when i watch tv. when i read comics i wear mocassins, but they arent mine, they are another mans. I have just over 1822 feet to go and then let the judgement begin!!

    long day, i need a beer

  47. I think this is start, but agree with some of you that the price for digital alone is just too high to grab new readers.

    1.49 for new and .99  month late sounds more like it.

    The combo is interesting, I could see myelf buying it to maybe send off that digital copy to a friend or relative to check out.

  48. The idea is sound.  The pricing is horrifically idiotic.

  49. I’m interested if this starts creating partnership buying.  Say my brother and I both want to read the new Justice League,   Instead of paying $3.99 each, my brother could purchase the combo pack, I pay him back $2.50, and take the digital copy code. 

  50. I wasn’t expecting 99¢, but I think digital and print being the same price is ridiculous.  I still think $1.99 is a little high but it’s reasonable, half the print price seems fair to me.

  51. I’d love to see a digital subscription option as well. 

  52. I wish they had taken a different approach and made the digital version $1 off the print version but you got the digital version for free if you bought the print version. It just doesn’t make sense to me that a digital version should cost the same or more than a physical version.

  53. I am planning on saving up for an iPad for this.  I will pick up some titles day and date, probably pick up a few (probably Justice League and maybe JLI) in the combo pack and some I will wait on. Count me among the excited for this…I can only think this will help the comics industry as a whole…love lcs but we really need to get eyes on comics…however that can be done.  

  54. I had forgotten that most dedicated readers get their books at a discount, so “parity” pricing is actually an extra tax on people who want to switch to digital.

  55. @conor  I was just hopeful (as was my wallet) but I am used to ordering through DCBS and getting the books a month behind anyway. Even then, it will still be a premium for digital over print but the premium for the space saved is worth it to me.

  56. @OwlyFan You’re on to something. Buy the combo pack and sell the digital code on eBay for $2.50. Win/win!

  57. Also, I thought the polybagged combo was for JL #1 only? I don’t think it is for all titles.

  58. Nope, I misread. All savings are being passed on to digital consumers. Looks like I will be splitting my budget. I’ll get what I want physically at the LCS and what I have less of an interest in getting from the digital store.

    What’s likely to happen for me is that whatever book has stunning artwork, I’ll get a hard copy. Everything else is a digital purchase.

  59. if it matters to anyone, you can still find iPad 1’s out there brand new that are being heavily discounted. Compare the specs..its a good value if you just want it to read comics and stuff. 

  60. Interesting… a secondary market for download codes.

  61. @jordanlyall  @OwlyFan I like that.

  62. Please tell me I won’t have to go to the LCS to buy a digital copy if I don’t want the print version. I hope they still go through the Comixology app for digital only.

  63. …or grphic.ly

  64. I still dream of the world Rantz Hoseley described when he announced Longbox back in ’09.  99 cent price point, and integration with existing non-drm’ed formats.  Even if he had been able to meet in the middle at $1.99 and come out when he originally proposed (over 6 months before the iPad)  we would be living in a whole different comics world.  Too bad neither he nor anybody had the leverage to convince the publishers of that, like Jobs did with the music industry. 

    Oh well, if we can at least get a “pull list discount” for a multi-month subscription I might switch to digital for some of my comics.  Otherwise why would I pay more for something that I have zero chance of getting anything back on, vs paper witch I have at least 5% chance of getting 10% back on if I hold on to for a couple of years. 

  65. @wallythegreenmonster  yep the iPad 1 is perfectly good for comics, I have one and it’s great for comics.

  66. @alsotav – I agree. Kind of like how some (mostly indie) record labels will include a mp3 download code with LPs. People who only listen to mp3s can buy an album for cheaper, while those who want to pay a little more for a physical product are “rewarded” with a free digital version.

  67. There’s plenty of ¢99 in back issue bins.

    Just because something is digital doesn’t mean it costs nothing to produce, the physical printing is probably not one of the biggest costs in producing a comic book.

    Someone has to write and draw and ink and color and letter and edit and then convert it all to a nice digital format that people want to comsume. 

  68. A little disappointing.  All I was hoping for was a price slightly cheaper than DCBS since a digital buy is pretty much a rental, unlike when I buy music/movies digitally.  I hate to pay the same or more than a physical copy when I can potentially lose my digital copy at some point, even if that outcome is unlikely it’s still a possibility.

  69. I just don’t see the point of offering a combo pack. Where is the benefit of paying $1 more for a copy of something I already have – I appreciate having the option of having the choice of print or digital, but if I’m buying it in print why not give me the digital copy for free? How many books do people read more than once anyway to justify buying both?

  70. I personally have no use for a digital version of a comic I already bought and very little interest in digital comics that cost the same as the print versions. That said, I still think this is a decent pricing plan. It protects the retailers a bit for the time being – and while that’s not DC’s responsibility, I actually still LIKE browsing a brick-and-mortar comic book store every week – and I just might buy some digital comics at 1.99 that I didn’t want to shell out the cash for when they came out but have heard good things about since. Might.

  71. Well, as enthusiastic as I have been about the transition to digital, I must say I am disappointed about the pricing plan.  I had hoped that the digital edition would be somewhere between $1.99 – $2.49 on the same day that the hard copy is released.  It doesn’t make sense to make loyal readers wait a whole month before they receive a discount.  I don’t think this pricing plan is posed to bring in new readers either.  When I go on Amazon to watch a TV show that I’ve missed, I pay $1.99 per episode.  I don’t think that a digital copy should cost more than that.  Think about what the publishers are saving on printing costs, distribution costs, etc.

  72. I find the price point interesting.  I think something people are missing is that DC is not trying to get us to buy these comics digitally.  They’re trying to see if non-comic readers will pay that price.  I think the market will justify whether the pricing is spot on or not.

    The combo pack is to get people who go to shops interested in digital.  Once the combo readers make the full switch, DC’s costs go down because they’re printing less physical copies.  Word of mouth spreads, more people adopt digital, etc.

  73. I really can’t see the point of waiting an entire month to save a buck. 

  74. Amazon has proven quite convincingly that the market will bear flexible pricepoints for digital versions of printed books. They can charge less, same or more than print price and they still do gangbusters. I can see how DC made the logic leap. 

  75. I truly am not being a wet blanket and I love DC but I’m done.  This will be great for new readers and old readers alike, but I’m just feel like I can let go.  I’ll still get my Mignola verse and my Marvel Subscriptions and I’m sure I’ll peak in on Superman from time to time but as a die hard DC Wednesday zombie I feel done.  I wish them loads and loads of success though and hope that this does bring a whole new generation of fans to the hobby.

  76. @conor I agree, they would all go out of business.

  77. I think I’m making the swtich to digital, goin to buy and old iPad1 and everything. Though I can’t find if DC has mentioned yet: will this digital comics initiative still be handled by comixology?

  78. Well, I’d like it to be cheaper than print but one thing we have learned so far is that the price will change if it’s not working. If this works right, the LCS’ will have less and less of a hold on DC, so they will be able to price issues to move if they want. 

    So much of this will hinge on Marvel’s response. We know that Dark Horse wants to take the prices lower but they aren’t enough of a force to really change the market (sadly). 

    Did I really see some whining about the environmental consequences of more polybags? Oh my god. Hello, they will be replacing paper and ink copies with DIGITAL. 

  79. The more I think about it, the more I’m going for this. And I’m one of those who thought he wouldn’t.

  80. Conor- A lot of DC’s moves lately have been things that you said would never happen-

    The 99c digital download pricing model- the standard for a lot of content online- wasn’t such a fantasy.

    That being said- the pricing model announced seems fair given the current climate.

  81. For context, I guess – there are almost no mainstream DCU books I like right now. The short list is basically anything Morrison is working on (Superman – sold!), Snyder’s Detective (ending soon) and Gail Simone’s stuff (but that’s deep DEEP into the guilty pleasure range, could easily live without that). I did enjoy the crap out of Generation Lost and would have liked to see that continue but…

  82. The pricing part of this is fine by me. Confusing those is these letter from bob Wayne I just read where he says this isn’t a “reboot” but a re-launch. Wasn’t a reboot a day and a half ago?

  83. @ericmci  Things have changed in the years that we’ve been talking about digital comics. Things that were impossible as little as one year ago are now possible. That’s life–things change. That been said, $0.99 is a complete and utter fantasy *at this point in time*.

  84. I’m still confused….is the digital comic a digital DOWNLOAD or digital ACCESS? Can I read digital comics offline? Do I own them? 

  85. Ok- Ok

    Never say never.

    I mean I am referrring to comments in recent months but hey as long as we’re not debating that the digital pricing announcement here is as much about business relationships than anything else

    Another promising possability here- I was in a shop in Brooklyn heights tonight and I over heard some people behind the counter brain storming what they could do to pull more people in- in light of the annnouncement- I think the LCS is about to get creative.

  86. There are so many cool possibilities for digital comics that you just can’t do with print versions, I hope the publishers have taken staps to implement them. I am available for ¢con$u£tancy too! 😉

  87. @finbarbat

    I don’t think they would allow you to read them except on a digital comics platform because of the piracy problem.

  88. I haven’t commented on this site in like over a year… But reading all these comments saying that a $1.99/2.99 price point is too much, pretty much irks me.  There are artists, writers, and editors that need to feed there families with the money they make in this business. And cutting revenue to give you a 99-cent comic would seriously affect these folks. When comic book creators are as profitable as Lady Gaga, then maybe we’ll see 99-cent comics. Until then how about we rightfully pay for the entertainment they give us. 

    Secondly..I approve of the overall DC plan so far. I personally am not interesting in going digital right now. But am looking forward to buying a sh-t load of #1’s in September. New stories excite me!
     

  89. Sorry about the typos, I’m still getting used to iPad typing.

  90. @clintaa  That’s what I’m saying. I really thought a 99 Cents thing was the way to go, but that extra dollar will keep me buying less titles at the regular 2.99 for now.

  91. Not digging the price plan at all… Not at all…  What is the sound of my bubble being burst.

  92. I too am typing from my iPad 2…

    I get my comics from DCBS on a monthly shipping schedule. With DCBS shipping charges, and bags/boards my per comic average is about 2.25 per issue. And since I’m on monthly shipping my shipment isn’t sent until the last week of the month with receipt the following Tuesday… So basically I have to make decision between paying 2.25 vs 1.99. I’m leaning towards digital @ 1.99 and picking up very nice trade collections to meet my collector’s addiction (on discount from amazon or DCBS).

  93. This sounds completely reasonable to me. 

  94. huh – looks like DC will be introducing full returnability after all. (I’ve seen several people say this will never happen for convincing economic reasons but there you go. This is not the kind of environment where you say ‘that’s never happen!’ 😉 )

    http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/06/02/dc-relaunch-not-a-reboot-holding-the-line-variants-72-discounts/ 

  95. @WilliamTrinity  I don’t totally disagree with you, but. . . at 2.99 for roughly 10 minutes of reading, that comes to 17.94 for an hour. Not a whole lot if I was the only one paying the makers of the 6 books it would take to fill that hour of time. However, it costs me on an average night to the movies about the same amount, let’s say for entertainment that lasts twice as long, takes more people and more money to make. Granted, more people also go see the movie, but I’m just saying as a business, it can’t always be about passing off the expenses to the consumer. It’s not up to me to pay everyone involved to make the book. At a certain point, if you keep doing that, you lose the consumer when they can’t afford it. Sometimes you just have to cut costs.

    A digital comic at 2.99 that I can’t even keep, if i want, is not fair to the consumer. Right now I can go to a local store and get pretty recent back issues for 1.00. Why? Because the stores can’t get rid of them. Not enough readers. The answer to the industries woes is more readers. The question we have to ask is will 2.99 digital comics bring in new readers when 1.00 floppies don’t? I don’t think so. Having said all this, though, I am glad DC is doing this. It’s a step. And it’s a much needed step.

  96. I’ve been saying for a year now that i would love to pay an extra $1 for a digital version as well as a physical copy

  97. It’ll probably be possible to game the system quite a bit, if you can manage to wait. If DC is smart, they’ll follow Marvel’s policy of having one-day $1 sales on big runs. Those things are GREAT for business I bet – they hit the collector’s G-spot in multiple ways. So you can get the physical copy discounted at DCBS etc, then get the digital copy separately at a discount if you want. There shouldn’t be any need to shell out $4.99 for any one book + digital copy. 

    This will also likely spawn a new breed of ‘trade waiters’ – the One Month Later Digital Waiters 🙂 

  98. @Cormac  I have to wait for more details but I’m already convert to digital waiting.

  99. Well, I may use the digital format to check out new titles, but unless the trade discount becomes a reality, I’ll still be getting the majority of my comics the old fashioned way.

  100. Finally a publisher in comics is doing digital like I always want witht the option for buy both at the bundled price. I really hope this sticks. I would still like to read most stuff in a physical format but would love to have a digital library for reference.

  101. everyone bitching about the price of digital comics, hypothetically speaking of course lots of people around the world are getting the digital comics for free and for quite some time.i dont condone it but its happening.

  102. Everyone knows it’s happening, just like movies, tv shows, music and books get pirated in huge numbers as well. 

    On the other hand, there are sound commercial alternatives for all of those forms of media that continue to reach huge audiences and make healthy profits for the creators and publishers. Comics can do the same, but appropriate pricing is just as important in determining that success as delivery method and the content itself. I see no problem in people bitching about a price they don’t want to pay. Price has always and will continue to be a major factor limiting the audience for comics. 

  103. I’m VERY interested to see Diamond’s response to this. I can’t imagine they are happy. This could cost them a lot of money, and I haven’t see anyone mention them yet.

    @abstractgeek  The LCBS is not Wal-Mart. If it were, the industry wouldn’t be in such deep shit. They’d be selling so many comics all this would be a moot point. Sure, comic shops sell other DC merchandise, but I bet it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of licensed DC stuff Wal-Mart or Target sell. Plus, you can order that merchandise online usually cheaper than the comic store. That said, I am glad DC isn’t totally screwing over the LCBS.

  104. @Cormac Good catch in the “one month digital waiter.” I’m pretty much doing that on a lot if Image title that aren’t day and date, Orc Stao , Morning Glories, Who is Jake Ellis, Lil Deprssed Boy, and Infinite Vacation. I just wait for Comixology to release the issue, and it’s always $1.99

    A lot of people have made a valid point about price parity, and their LCS discount. If you factor in my discount from Midtown Comics, it will actually cost me more to go digital, but I get the benefit of havingnthe issues stored conviniently on my iPad, and easily accessible.

  105. @RocketRacoon  Do we get an actual digital copy is it the privilege of accessing it from DC’s online library? I guess that’s my question.  Is the file “yours” once you’ve paid for it?

  106. @RocketRacoon  Heh, yeah. In fact I double-dipped on Image stuff – got Bulletproof Coffin and Orc Stain first digitally, then the TPB later. Felt a bit stupid but I got to read it faster than I would have otherwise (I live in Tokyo, no LCS!)

  107. I thought that buying a digital copy just meant buying the ability to access a digital copy stored on a server online. I don’t believe that you can actually download the file. I don’t believe anything will be “stored” on your iPad except an access key to a digital file stored on a server online. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s my understanding of it. In the case that the server is down, or you are somewhere that you don’t have internet access (which is, admittedly much less common nowadays), you won’t be able to access your “collection”.

  108. @srh1son  Not under the current digital model, no. Your copy sits on the comixology app (or the DC-skinned version of the same). You can’t give it away to someone, unless you give them your log-in details for the app / itunes. Would be interesting if they implemented some form of lending though, as amazon is doing with kindle and apple does with the itunes library. 

  109. @sh1son – I do not believe so. Everything I’ve read about digital comics is that you are not purchasing or downloading any files outside of the app. Instead, you are purchasing a liscense to read the issue you “purchased.” It’s similar to DRM’d files. You can only view the comic with the app you bought it with. There is no physical file you download and can do whatever you want with. There are some people who have questioned what would happen if the app company were to lose it’s liscence down the road. The thought seems to be that your comic would no longer be viewable. I’m not an authority on this. There are many on here who know better than I do. Just repeating what I’ve read.

  110. Basically it’s more like Netflix than iTunes or buying a dvd. You can’t download movies through Netflix. But you can watch them as much as you’d like through their site or apps. And there is no guarantee that they won’t stop carrying a certain movie at some point. If what I’m describing is accurate, people need to think of digital comics as rentals more than purchases. It’s more like going to a movie theater than it is buying a dvd. You’re paying to view the content, not own it.

  111. @player1  That’s not quite true. You do download a file that you can read while offline. You just can’t move it out of the comixology app. On the other hand, if comixology ever goes bust and that somehow prevents you from accessing your collection, I daresay no-one much would blame you if you just downloaded a bunch of pirate scans to replace them. 

  112. The thing that has me thinking is…

    At $1.99 an issue are we actually seeing the death of the TPB?

    The Tiki

  113. @thefreakytiki  Well, maybe the TPB as a straight replacement for floppies on a Wednesday. In the long run, I’m betting we move ever closer to all digital for monthly comics + deluxe paper editions for the stuff people really like. That’s where I’m at, personally.

  114. I was excited until the pricing came out. Too rich for my blood. Ill take the DCB Service price at 99

  115. I’m going digital!

  116. Conor, you keep saying that $0.99 for a digital comic is a fantasy. Angry Birds costs 99 cents. I bet it took a lot more development than any single issue of a comic book, and they’ve sold millions, partly because they priced it as an impulse purchase. People barely even need to think about it. I’m not being selfish either, I’ll probably never read digitally but if the publishers are looking to significantly expand their readership at $3 per digital issue, it’s them who’s living in a fantasy land.

  117. @JonSamuelson  Listen, I’m not saying it shouldn’t be the price point, I’m just pointing out the reality of the situation and the reality is that right now that price point is a fantasy.

  118. I’m on a Nook Color, and as inexpensive of an e-reader it is, I’m still a little wary of jailbreaking it for the full reader experience.   If I get the guts to jailbreak it, or I find a way to download comics to it without jailbreaking, then DC will have me purchasing all their #1’s there.  After that I’ll likely purchase anythign Im consistently enjoying in print.   If there’s anything, thats sort of hit or miss for me, or something new to check out, I’ll get those things on the e-reader.

  119. You guys need to hash this out on a special edition podcast btw. The 11 O’Clock ep this week was epic. Would love to hear what the graphic.ly guys are thinking too. 

  120. here’s something that is just perplexing, why are people so excited about spending money on digital comics when you won’t own them?? I mean, throw a brother a PDF 

  121. @cormac – I’m not saying I wouldn’t be interested to hear the guys give their honest opinions on the issue and it’s details. But given their stance and place in the industry, isn’t kinda obvious already?

  122. Jesus, man. Don’t you sleep?

  123. I’ve always wondered why they don’t have ads in the digital comics.  Honestly, I kind of miss them, especially after reading all the old Spider-Man comics from the DVD-rom that do include them.  Could ads bring the prices down?

  124. @j206  There’s a lot to hash out though, beyond just the digital stuff. I could listen to a whole ep of speculation about new teams and books, for example. Hell, i’d listen to a whole hour of people speculating about what Morrison’s new Superman book might be like. (then again, i am at work and bored and always in need of more podcasts!)

  125. @Joshua  Well, if you really really wanted to own them, it is an absolute snap to save them in an exportable format. (just take a screenshot of each page as you read, which is saved to the photos app. once it’s there, you can do anything with it…including making neat little .pdfs. This may sound like a lot of hassle but it’s actually way easier than scanning and editing in photoshop, which I imagine is a real pain in the ass)*

    *note that I would never actually do this. The only reason I’ve even thought about it is ’cause I like to take screenshots of comics to use as wallpaper for my iPad.  I’m just pointing it out ’cause people get really worked up about DRM and not owning their stuff. But the protection mechanisms are so flimsy, you basically DO own it. Hell, you could just put your iPad on a flatbed scanner…or print them out 🙂

  126. It’s prob going to take a white. But I see the ultimate eventual future as a world without floppy single issues. It’s going to at some point be all digital. One, because enough of the readership is going to adapt. But mostly, the key reason being that it’s the MUCH bigger money maker for the publishers.

    When printing is no longer a cost regarding single issues, and all they’re doing is basically allowing you to access their web-site. The publishers are going to be doing a whole hell of a lot better profit wise. And by that point, the single issue price for digital better go down considerably. Once their production and distribution costs go down, the prices better follow. Although in today’s ultra-capitalist society, where it’s not a matter of corporate profit margain as opposed to annually increased profit margain. Color me skeptical of that taking place.

    There’s going to be some growing pains while the industry figures things out. But I think it’s pretty clear where we’re ultimately headed. Digital floppies, and a premium price on printed trades. The way I see it, when digital is the norm for single issues, ANYTHING printed is going to become more and more a collector item over time. The more readers and users get accustomed to reading digitally, the less demand for print will exist. The less demand, the less product. The less product, the more it becomes a niche market and premium item. Just my own crackpot armchair qb prognostication. As time passes, the price of digital comics SHOULD (not willing be say WILL) go down. And the cost of anything printed, be it single issues or trades, is going to go up. Think of it as similar to the vinyl record market in music. You can get just about any song on the planet for 99 cents. But you want a vinyl of a cool old famous album that’s out of print, or something that had a very limited print to begin with? It’s going to cost you.

    Whatever happens. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see play out.

  127. @Cormac you could do that, it’s just strange that people are really excited. I mean, I get people want to spend less on comics and get rid of having multiple short/long boxes, but there’s always a price(and I don’t mean monetarily) that comes with these “advances”. It’s like going to Best Buy to purchase a film, you walk up to the counter and give the cashier the movie and “X” amount of $ . Now instead of them handing you back your copy of the movie, they put it in a closet/storage facility, which will of course “always be there” (extremely doubtful). So now it’s the next day I wanna watch the movie, which I payed my money for. Instead of just getting it from my DVD collection, I have to drive to Best Buy and ask permission(log into my app) to view it. Is this seriously what people are excited about?!?! Before you attack, I know I’m being very snarky. I’m just trying to highlight what a lot of people are trying to gloss over as something that doesn’t matter. Not to this brother, I have a lack of trust of buying things from someone when all you get a “we’ll hold on to this for you” response. 

  128. I know a lot of people wanted a .99 cent price point but if you treat/equate your product like an “impulse buy” that is all it will ever be.

    The Tiki

  129. You don’t pay 19.99 to rent a DVD.

  130. Well I guess I’m ok with these prices. I’m definitely going to get digital versions of Wonder Woman, Flash, JLA and whatever version of Batman they give us. Not sure I’ll be able to afford much more than that but if a few of the remaining 41 intrigue me I’m willing to push it a bit. And since I’m a guy that hasn’t really bothered with DC before, DC should see that as a victory. Well done DC. Keep doing what you’re doing. Now all you have to do is hold my attention…

  131. @Joshua

    Reading a purchased digital comic is really not anywhere as diffifcult as you describe. I bought a bunch of Morrison’s Batman on the DC app for 99 cents back in January. I just checked and all I had to do to read them again here in June was open the app and tap on the issue. No logging in necessary, no waiting required!

    As someone else pointed out, the image data IS downloaded to your device — you just can’t export it from the app (without breaking some Terms and Conditions, no doubt).

  132. Y’all can haggle over your digital pricing, but this old dinosaur is pleased as punch he’ll still be able to buy comics for three bucks come September!

    With the price point, I’m going all in and buying everything that comes out that month (yes, even the Krul ones). 

    I couldn’t be happier for the state of comics in today’s market than I am right now.

    Bravo, DC!

    (And my, how silent the usual petty Marvel tweets have been since the second round of info has come out.  Telling…?) 

  133. A combo pack is perfect!  This is what I’ve been asking for, for the last few years.  I’m just not entirely sold on the price.   I realize that this is an oversized issue, but its still bothersome.  

    I hope that DC does this with all of their books.  It can be the catalyst to make me buy their titles more often. 

  134. It should be like video purchases when it comes to digital: buy or rent.  

    Let someone pay $3 – $4 if they want to own the digital version, downloaded to their device and available to them anytime they want it, because they bought it.  Maybe even go the extra step of allowing for transfers across 2 or 3 devices.

    But if they want to make even MORE revenue, then adopt the Amazon on demand and Netflix models.   Let’s say… $1.50 to ‘rent’ a single issue of something (or maybe bundled ‘collected’ packs for a certain price, like the complete Watchmen for $7).  You have a time limit on how long you get to access the comic before it expires and you have to pay again (is 45 days enough?).

    then the Netflix/Hulu model:  A low monthly subscription price for all the titles you want to read, with the caveats: a> Newest titles arrive later than print and ‘on demand’ titles AND b> to access older titles, you must pay for a premium service over basic. 

    Lastly… I’m not doing anything digital until I see full support for ALL technology.  I know iPad is dominant, but I don’t want an iPad.  I barely like any of the Android slates.  Then you have Blackberry Playbook, Palm slate, color eReaders and Windows 8 slates… when I see that publishers can support all devices, then I’ll think about it. 

  135. @TomO

    Re: Marvel’s reaction. I’m hoping they realized that, as the industry leader, they gain absolutely nothing by being snarky towards DC. In fact, a few of the reactions may actually hurt them. Some of the tweets I saw really made me consider dropping a couple Marvel titles. It’s about the stories, but I don’t want to support d-bags if I can help it.

    @JesseCuster

    I love the idea of a rental model (I’d call it a “read-only” model). I’d even be willing to accept only a two week window if the price was 99 cents. Just enough time to stay current with week-to-week conversation. Or make it a Netflix Instant model and allow 1-2 weeks of access to any new releases for $20-40 a month.

    I think something like this will develop eventually. The potential market for digital comics is getting big very quickly, so I don’t think we’ll have $2.99/$1.99 forever.

  136. 3.99$ hmmm so much for “drawing the line at 2.99” eh?

  137. @conor  Perhaps if you elaborated more on why the price point shouldn’t be .99 ti would help.  Workign with Graphicly you obviously have more inside info on the subject then we do.  Maybe you should do an article on the subject.  I’m sure a lot of us here would like to see your take.

    I guess it just seems odd thinking about pricing.  How much of a $3 book goes to printing/shipping/packaging/handling costs?  How much would it cost to distribute a comic digitally?

    I’m for the combo packs, and hope they do this for all comics going forward. 

  138. Perhaps DC should’ve worked this as their pricing slogan…

    “Drawing the line at $2.99 for a standard sized issue, and drawing the line a little further down at $3.99 for an oversized issue”

    Not quite as catchy, but at least it would’ve stopped the snarky one line posts of people thinking they’re playing “gotcha” with DC everytime they release on oversized issue.

  139. i think its a mistake to bring a collectors mentality into digital. I don’t really care about “owning” the digitlal file, because i just want to read the story. There is a 99% chance i’ll never go back to that issue once i’m done with it, so for me its a moot point. 

    I would love some sort of “read only” rental style model for a significant discount.  

  140. @KenO- Agreed on the d-bag sentiment.  I dropped all my Marvel when they adopted the $4 price tag as their standard offering.  Seeing the parade of pissy, petty, and “too cute by half” tweets everytime DC tries to do something different just reinforces my opinion that I made the right decision.

  141. I keep seeing people comparing comics to apps and I don’t understand that.  Shouldn’t you be comparing them to either e-books or e-magazines?  The new pricing is right in line with that stuff.

    I own a nook color and you can buy magazines on it.  A single issue of most magazines cost around 4 to 5 bucks.  So a comic costing 3 to 2 seems like a pretty good deal to me.  Now something that I do wish DC would do is subscriptions like the magazines do.  If I subscript to say National Geographic I’m charged 2 dollars a month.  So I could see subscripting to a comic for that price.

    All in all I’m pretty pumped to see how this all goes down.  I just got done reading Irredeemable on my nook color and loved it.  I do think an iPad would be better for comics though.  The nook color just doesn’t have the right size screen for comics and all that zooming in to read the text can take me out of the experience.  Maybe I’ll break down and find a cheap  used first gen ipad just for comic reading.

  142. @wallythegreenmonster Totally agree. I tend to think of the digital issue price as a premium on the trade that I will (probably) eventually get. I’m paying for the chance to read material as it comes out and for the ability to break out some FF wherever I may be. 

  143. @Swag  –yeah i’ll pay a slight premium do be able to download my pull list at my desk instead of having to leave work early and fight traffic (save gas and frustration) to go all the way across town and get to my shop 3 minutes before he closes….

    @CharlieBlix  — yeah the word “App” gets tossed around to everything that be accessed on a tablet these days which is annoying and incorrect. 

  144. @wallythegreenmonster  It’s not just a collector mentality, it’s an owner mentality. Some people never reread their floppies, so the uncertain ownership issues of digital might not bother them, but I love revisiting old issues, and I have reservations about paying print pricing if my access could be terminated in the future. 

  145. @Rob3E Do the Comixology (for example) contractual terms allow them to terminate access? That’s an honest question – I haven’t looked them over. And you may say that something disastrous could befall the servers or something, but…… your long boxes could be wiped out in a flood or fire. 

  146. – DC should offer a subscription discount for digital (e.g., 12 months for $1.49/book day-and-date)
    – When you include the cost of shipping and bags and boards, my average DCBS cost per book is $2.18 ($1.79 for the comic + $0.12 for bag and board + $0.27 shipping).  Therefore, becoming a “digital waiter” has just become a viable option.  (Sorry, DCBS.)
    – Books more than one year old should be $0.99.  Therefore the pricing schedule would be $2.99 first month, $1.99 months 2-12, $0.99 months 13+.

  147. @ctrosejr:  I would think .99 year old back issues would kill Trade sales.  Why would I buy a Trade for 20 when I could buy the 6 or 7 single digital issues for about 7 bucks. 

  148. I really don’t think the loss of your digital comics is that big of a concern.

    As I understand the current system (granted I haven’t read all of Comixology’s terms of service), the only way this could truly happen is if BOTH of these situations occur:

    1. Your device is stolen, destroyed, or has it’s internal memory erased.
    2. Comixology folds and does nothing to preserve/sell their library rights, OR suffers a catastrophic server loss without a backup, OR does NOT allow people to re-download purchased materials for free in the even of one of the situations in #1.

    So since the comics are ON YOUR DEVICE, I think you’re probably gonna be okay.

  149. A .99 issue thing is a a thing of the future and not the present. Right now DC is curious if they can subsidize the print market with digital. We’ll see.

    Also, a lot of people are talking about Amazon and the Lady Gaga .99 album. Amazon lost millions on that because they still had to pay the difference between .99 and the 9.99 list price for every copy they sold. In addition, Amazon is a retailer and not a creator. So 2.99 is the MSRP, and de facto since we’re assuming DC is selling them directly. But if digital copies were sold via iTunes or Amazon or another digital retailer, like comixology or Graphic.ly, we could see .99 issue sales and such.

    My bottom line right now is that I like the idea of digital comics, but I like supporting a small, locally owned business with employees who are awesome, so I’m torn.

  150. @Rob3E  –yeah but thats what i’m saying. View Digital comics as going to the movies more than buying the DVD and you’ll be ok. Digital at least through these dedicated apps isn’t designed for the collector or owner. Its designed for the reader.

    If you want to own and collect issues, there is still print. Its not going away unless the market decides that it should.

  151. @MisterJ  DC makes all the money from Dc direct. they produce and sell all of that through diamond same as the comics. The stuff in walmart toys r us etc are licensed product that DC gets paid a licensing fee
    for and then get some share of the revenue. With the restructuring, that may not be part of it at all, a good deal of that (all of the Green Lantern movie merchandise) is handled by warner brothers consumer products, which is a seperate division from DC. While not as big certainly, like the comics it all has a huge profit margin. A dc direct statue may only sell 1000 units but they are $300 a pop. In the long run (and i mean
    internet long ru,n like a year or two) it will make sense to abandon that revenue once the revenue from digital is significant.

    You are correct throwing a bone is the incorrect term, its not a charity move its a business move, and the LCS on its own is not walmart, the direct market is. Dc right now cannot risk losing that business, any more than hasbro can lose walmart. And i dont think iuts even a risk that the the stores will all band togther and chose to boycott dc (though they could i just dont think they ever will) its more if dc basically hurts their cashflow either putting them out of business or at the least hurting their ability to carry more product, then dc loses money too. Money they will eventually give up im sure, but not right now

  152. Fascinating thread so far with @wallythegreenmonster and @cormac being the voice of reason. Personally I read a lot of digital comics through Comixology and the ownership issue is something I’m just not that worried about. It really hasn’t crossed my mind, and it won’t affect my purchasing decisions going forward.

    I’m happy accepting the fact that I’m purchasing a license to view the product, which we are doing with all types of media including video games, movies, books, and comics. I know I can simply log on to Comixology and access all my comics. And I can view the ones I’ve downloaded to my iPad offline with no problems.

    Also, there’s one thing people are overlooking with Comixology: the ability to access your comic anywhere by simply logging on to your account, and redownloading the issues straight through the app. No muss no fuss. It worked great when I upgraded from the iPad to the iPad 2. All my issues where in the app, and I downloaded the ones I wanted to read.

    I’m content knowing I can delete them from my iPad, and redownload them if/when storage becomes an issue.

  153. It should be interesting to see how this shakes out.  I have to imagine if you go to a great store and get your comics, you will still go to that store.  But there have to be a segment of the collectors who are like me and don’t have a store and buy their books 2 months ahead of time online.  Every now and then are books that I miss and have to wait for the trade.  So having a digital option is great. 

    I am also interested to see if there is a book that is on the bubble with sales in print, but rank high in digital sales. 

  154. @wallythegreenmonster  My problem is that I don’t want print, but I do want ownership. Much like it’s done with music.

    @Swag I don’t know the ComiXology (or Graphic.ly) TOS, but what they’re allowed to do is only part of the equation. What happens when:
    I buy a new device that isn’t supported?
    ComiXology goes out of business? 
    A publisher that sells content though Graphic.ly goes out of business (or just terminates their relationship)?

    I didn’t start buying music digitally until I could buy DRM-free files. I just keep hoping comics will follow suit. In the mean time, pricing the same as print, but without the ownership seems like a proposition some people will balk at.

  155. What I think we actually have is a sub-licence to view the content, with Comixology having the main licencee relationship with DC? Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

    So DC (knowing that the distributers entire business model is based on being able to grant “sub-licences”) is unlikely, in my view, to have a clause allowing them to simply terminate their relationship with Comixology or Graphic.ly and strip that business out from under them. The distributers would certainly be very wary of something like that. Its for the same reason that i don’t see Comixology going out of business. As long as DC publishes material, the distributers have a life line. In this particular case, I feel that the distinction between ownership and a licence is a non issue.

    If you buy a device that doesn’t support these apps, well that, to be blunt, is all on you.

    Assuming sales of digital issues begin to outsell paper issues, making the latter untenable in DC’s eyes, it seems logical that trades and hardcovers etc become the only printed material. So @Wally, to be fair I think we are making assumptions when we say “if you want printed material, it will still be there.” We’re assuming that people want to buy that particular format. 

  156. sorry to hog the discussion but this has been a great one, and i only have a limited window at the moment to be online, and i have a couple other points.

    1 .99 comics. since apple takes 30% and if sold throgh the comixology app, comixology also gets a cut (not sure if the same applies to the stand alone app which comixology designed) then a publisher could be getting as little as .50 -.60 per issue. DC makes twice that per issue in print. digital eliminates print costs and shipping costs (are there shipping costs? retailers pay for shipping to the shops, does diamond pay for shipping to them?) but not the cost of writing, drawing, lettering coloring, or production. Nor does it eliminate the costs of the business like rent, convention expenses, editorial staff, secretaries, and all the costs involved with creating the content. I think we will see that price point eventually, but its too much of a loss for right now.

    2. there is also personal issues. one of the reason dc was so supportive of the direct market was the personal relationship paul levitz has with steve geppi. levitz didnt want to screw his friend (possibly one of the reasons he no longer in charge) and im sure may people at dc have plenty of friends in the direct market. while ultimately bottom line is most important to a company, decisions are not made by companies, they are made by people who work at these companies. i routinely use vendors i like over cheaper vendors when both are within my budget.

    3. one nice thing about print comics is their resale value. while you cant make profit selling your collection anymore, you can make some money. a friend of mine not too long ago sold his entire collection at a con. 10 long boxes, made about $2000. well less than he paid for them but you cant get any money from reselling digital comic. again, not a big chunk of dough, but it helped out.

    All of these points are eventually moot, but are in play at the moment. This is NOT the shift in the market, its the BEGINNING of the shift in the market.

  157. @Swag  Of course it’s on me, but that is only because the comics I “buy” are DRM-locked. And why? To curb piracy? How’s that going?

    As to the long term viability of ComiXology and Graphic.ly, all I can say is that you’re much more optimistic then I am. It’s a new industry where the details are still being ironed out. I wish them the best, but I have no reason to think all of these companies will still be here in two years, let alone twenty.

    That’s just as true of publishers. Sure, odds are good for DC and Marvel, but I have lots of indy titles I still enjoy reading in spite of the fact that the publishers are gone. It’d be a shame if those issues had simply evaporated when the publisher closed shop.

    So if you’re going to charge me as if I’m buying something, give me something. Otherwise the price should be well below what I’d pay to actually own something. 

  158. @Rob3E you can debate price all you want. You don’t seem to be a fan of digital comics. The great thing about DC’s announcement is that paper comic aren’t going away. You can still buy them.

    Again, it gives people the option to go digital, if they choose to. It’s on us as individuals to assess value. If you don’t think digital is the value that you’d like it to be then you can continue to go paper. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

  159. If i get roped into this, Apple will win too, cuz i’ll be buying my first iPad!

  160. @RocketRacoon  I am a huge fan of digital comics. I gave up floppies years ago and switched to picking up occasion trades. I keep thinking that digital will help make me a more regular reader again, like it did with music and books.  But it doesn’t quite get there.

    To be fair, DC’s announcement is the most positive move I’ve heard. I’m more tempted to dive in now more then ever, but I still don’t think they’ve nailed it.  They’re still charging newstand prices and giving you less.  And really the price isn’t what bothers me as much as the way they continue to controll your purchase after you “bought” it.

    It’s especially vexing because the product I want is out there for the low, low cost of free, but I keep wanting to go the legal route. 

  161. @Rchapoteau  Again, I never said the price SHOULDN’T be $0.99, I said it WOULDN’T be.

  162. @Rob3E wrote: “I’m more tempted to dive in now more then ever, but I still don’t think they’ve nailed it.” 

    I think there is this belief that if DC made the price of digital comics $0.99, it would be a “killer app”, a game changer.  I don’t know if that is true.  I know I would buy a whole lot more DC comics, but I don’t know if DC would make any more money in the long run.  

    Part of me wants to believe that at $0.99 people who aren’t reading comics today would buy comics (i.e., the impulse buy).  I also want to believe that at $0.99 people who are downloading comics illegally would start to buy them legally.  

    On the flip side, DC has to make up a lot of lost revenue, even from me, the long time reader, because essentially chopping the price by 66% means I have to buy 3 times the comics I once did.  I don’t think I have that much time in the day! 

    So, all those new readers have to make up for the fact that I am not contribuiting as much revenue as I was before.  Can it happen?  Possibly.  On the other hand, are people reading as much as they once did?  Aren’t we a niche market?  Aren’t there more and more things fighting for our disposable dollars?  I just don’t know if at $0.99 DC would make as much money as they were before, and if you’re not going to make more money, what’s the point?

  163. @ctrosejr  I’m not advocating for a lower price necessarily. I’m just saying that at newstand prices, we should have comparable value to print, not what amounts to a rental agreement of undetermined length.

    At .99 the DRM and restrictions would be more tolerable, but I would still prefer a better product to a lower price point. 

  164. Can’t express how disappointing this news is.

    Surely the point of all this is to widen comics distribution and sales – especially to younger generations of digitally-attuned potential readers. DC should have learnt the lesson of the music industry. Even ebook and magazine publishers are beginning to realise they can’t sell digital at the same price as physical ones. DC should be pushing out cheaper comics $1.50 digital new release .99 for an older issue. .50 for vintage.
    Plus, digital comics need to be more than just scans of printed ones. A little innovation needed.

    What an utterly wasted opportunity.

  165. Pricing parity seems fine to me for a start.  I look to steam as an example of a good digital market place.  A game will always debut at the same price as a retail copy but will drop in price as time goes on and there is less demand.  I know many people still think it’s crazy to pay the same price for a digital copy of a game when they could get a physical copy but I’m actually of the opposite opinion.  I don’t need the box and I don’t want to put a disc in every time I play a game.

    steam also frequently has crazy sales, preorder discounts and package deals.  A good digital comics store will do that also.  They might also offer a pull list discount like any good comic shop does if you subscribe to enough titles.

    Now, I’m not ready to jump into digital comics like I am with games and music so I’ll be sticking to my floppies for a while still.  Unlike games and music (and text-only books to some degree), a digital comic alters the way a comic is experienced rather than just the delivery method.  I haven’t found a reader that I enjoy enough to make that investment.  But for people that want to or have made that leap, this is good news.

  166. I figured the prices would be like this. It makes sense. $0.99 is wishful thinking, much like $0.99 per gallon gas. When your product takes more than $0.99 to produce per copy — which is the case with comics, because they sell so few copies nowadays, comparatively — then there’s no way you can charge $0.99 per copy unless you want to lose money.

    I don’t understand the “day and date” phrase. It makes no sense to say “day and date”. As if I could get a digital comic on the same day but not on the same date?? Day = date.

    Why don’t we just use the phrase “same day” instead of “day and date” which makes no sense.

    Hopefully the companies themselves aren’t going to use the “day and date” line. I’m already sick of hearing it. It means nothing.

  167. @conor  Yes, my mistake sir.  I’d still like to hear from someone on the inside of the digital comics realm on feasibility and pricing of something like this.  Maybe it would be a good podcast discussion?

  168. Question:

    If the big two just offered their own “aps” as a way to get their comics and it maybe even resulted in a lower price- would you still want to use a third party service?