Posts Tagged comixology

Are you angry about the new Comixology app, which removes the ability to buy comics from inside the app itself? If so, you should be just as angry at Apple for their policies making such an absurd situation, where an app can offer the ability to consume the content it sells without actually selling it, as much as you are at Comixology/Amazon for inconveniencing you.

Comixology-MoreBooksThe economics for the change are clear: they were giving 30% of every sale to Apple, as per App Store policies. That’s the way it’s been since the App Store opened – every time money changes hands, Apple takes its 30% cut. When in-app purchases were introduced, Apple kept the rate per transaction the same: 30% on everything. Thus, when Comixology sold a comic for $3.99, they only got ~$2.80 from it, for a book they had to sell for the same price on their site, by Apple policies.

It’s likely that this 30% cut hurt Comixology’s bottom line – they are beholden to a number of outside forces and right holders for the comics they sell – and the move to Amazon apparently provided them the opportunity to change their selling model.

For years, Comixology's "Comics" app was one of the top grossing apps on the App Store - especially on the iPad. Source: AppAnnie</a<

For years, Comixology’s Comics app was one of the top grossing apps on the App Store – especially on the iPad. Source: AppAnnie

So, that 30% fee on transactions that Apple takes is problematically high. Certainly, it can be justified for paid apps: Apple provides approval, storage, bandwidth, tax collection, and a variety of services beyond just taking the money, in order to justify taking such a cut of a developer’s revenue.

But for in-app purchases, Apple is serving as little more than a payment processor, though they do track whether non-consumable IAP is owned by the user. And 30% is exorbitantly high for payment processing. PayPal merchant fees are 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. Amazon charges the same for transactions $10 or above, with a 5% + $0.05 per order for smaller transactions. These aren’t counting the bulk volume discounts that these processors provide.

You could go to your local comics shop or to a vendor at a convention, and using a Square credit card reader, they can sell you that comic at a 2.75% per swipe fee. So what right does Apple have to be taking 30% on a similar transaction? I think they should be allowed to take a reasonable premium on top of payment processing for the App Store services they provide, but it’s clear that 30% is unreasonable, especially for low-margin fields like the sale of music, movies, and comic books.

And because Apple specifically restricts outside payment systems, there’s no recourse for anyone who wants to offer media or subscription services through an app but to not sell said services in the app itself. It’s why you can’t buy a Netflix, Spotify, or Dropbox subscription from inside their apps at all – because Apple can’t take their steep tax.

Apps like Kindle have to sidestep just why they can't actually sell you books in the app itself

Apps like Kindle have to sidestep just why they can’t actually sell you books in the app itself

Why would Apple, a seemingly pro-consumer company in the way that they design their products to be easy to use, do this? Well, they’re not actually a pro-consumer company. They’re a pro-Apple-consumer company. Everything they do is designed explicitly to get you to stay with Apple products. Ever thought about getting an Android or Windows Phone but decided not to because you didn’t want to lose iMessage? Exactly.

Remember that Apple sells music, video, and books of their own (though not comics to the scale that Comixology does); they have a weighted incentive to make it hard for outside sources to provide them on the App Store unless they pay the exorbitant 30% fee. And when people are inconvenienced by app makers because of Apple’s policies they get mad at the app maker, not Apple, which has to cause a chill to run up the spine of anyone struggling with a similar decision as Comixology.

The thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way. Google has a similar setup with in-app purchases where they take 30% of every transaction, but they provide alternatives. Specifically, they have a policy that enables Comixology to still sell comics through their app through their own payment system: “Developers offering additional content, services or functionality within another category of app downloaded from Google Play must use Google Play’s in-app billing service as the method of payment, except: where payment is for digital content or goods that may be consumed outside of the app itself (e.g., buying songs that can be played on other music players).”

Thus, Android Comixology users can still buy comics through the app. Those who relied on Google Play credit to buy books will find themselves out of luck. Of course, Google doesn’t have a monopoly over content distribution or an interest on keeping people as tied to Google Play and their own services, but it’s still a better way to operate than the monopolistic way that Apple does. The 30% payment processor fee for in-app purchases is still on the exorbitant side, but the nature of it is a lot more fair.

So, what Apple ultimately has is a situation that’s meant to give off the illusion of consumer-friendliness by making it only possible to spend money through iTunes accounts, when it really restricts the freedom that people have to get the content they want, where they want it from.

If a solution that’s actually friendly to users (and not just to those who buy in to the Apple system) is to happen, it’s going to require public pressure. They could enact the exact same policy that Google Play has, for one. This same policy is the one that allows Starbucks to allow for store credit refills through direct credit card or PayPal payments. It just needs to be expanded to cross-platform media so that users don’t get left out in the cold, or compelled to buy from Apple’s stores. Give them actual choice.

Or Apple needs to make their tax on in-app purchases – these purely digital transactions – a smaller fee, in order for it to be viable for sellers in high-margin transactions involving media. Somewhere from 5 to 10% may be more reasonable than the current 30%. Whatever the solution I believe change needs to happen, because right now, the ultimate loser from Apple policies are ordinary people who have had convenience taken away from them because of corporate politics.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2014-04-27 :: Category: Books

Uncanny Comics Review

Uncanny Comics Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Uncanny Comics is a great resource for interesting articles and exclusive interviews, but it needs some fine-tuning to make it more interactive and iOS-friendly.

Read The Full Review »

ComiXology, the consummate companion app for the serious comic fan, has announced that it’s discovered a security anomaly during a recent security check. More specifically, an unauthorized individual gained access to sign-in credentials and cryptographically stored passwords.

According to an email sent out, ComiXology is exercising an abundance of caution in requiring users to change their passwords. “Even though we store our passwords in protected form, as a precautionary measure we are requiring all users to change their passwords on the ComiXology platform and recommend that you promptly change your password on any other website where you use the same or a similar password,” the email states. “We have taken additional steps to strengthen our security procedures and systems, and we will continue to implement improvements on an ongoing basis.”

ComiXology notes that payment account information is not stored on its servers. To change your password, go to this page or use the big red link on the top of ComiXology’s homepage.

comixology1comixology2

via: Our Review

2013-wrapp-up-header

Comic book purists who like their comics bagged, boarded, and boxed may disapprove, but there’s no doubt that digital comics have revitalized the comic book industry these last few years as more and more people embrace the platform on their tablets. Below are just a few of the ways and reasons to go digital this year.

Comixology

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Where better to begin than with the biggest comic book store on iOS: Comixology. Featuring titles from DC and Marvel (sharing content from their respective apps), Valiant, Image, and a plethora of indie publishers – their thoughtful collections, frequent discounts, and generous giveaways are a great avenue for discovering new series and lesser-known works. Digital format is also often the only way to read out-of-print comic books or issues that would cost a fortune to purchase from online merchants.

20131220-155109.jpgComics have often been thought of as a perfect medium between literature and cinema, and Comixology’s Guided View technology only strengthens that idea. Delivering the content in a frame-by-frame format not only makes reading possible on smaller devices, but really builds suspense unlike anything comic readers will have previously experienced. Especially since there is no opportunity to have a cheeky peek at those bottom-of-the-page spoil-the-surprise panels.

Continue reading 148Apps 2013 wrAPP-Up – The Dynamic Duo of Digital Comics and iOS »

Comics Gets a New Design to Fit the iOS 7 Look

Posted by on October 21st, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Comics by Comixology, the app with over 40,000 comics, has been updated with a brand-new look that goes along with the iOS7 theme. Give it an update, check out its new look, and get back to reading your favorite comics.

comics

Favorite Four: Comic Reading Apps

iOS devices are great for using as e-readers, iPads in particular. Besides being great for reading books and novels, they’re also ideal for comic book reading. Whether you’ve been reading comics for decades, or just discovering the magic within for the first time, here’s a look at four of our favorite apps for enjoying some of the best comics and graphic novels out there.

Comics
From Comixology, Comics offers a huge wealth of comic books. With a 30,000+ library of books, it’s the comic equivalent of iTunes which is pretty awesome indeed. There’s something for everyone’s taste here, with Marvel and DC residing happily alongside Disney, The Walking Dead, Star Trek and even My Little Pony. It’s simple to browse around and a web-based interface ensures purchases can be read anywhere.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-07-22 :: Category: Books

Marvel Unlimited
For those keen to buy individual comic books, Marvel Comics has things covered. For others who signed up to a Marvel Unlimited subscription and had to be restricted to only browsing on a PC or Mac, this recent app is a huge help. It’s not the finest of apps to navigate (although it works much better on the iPad), but the sheer wealth of comic books that can be read while on the move and for a fairly low annual fee, it’s well worth a look. It’s kept me entertained on many a journey, as helped by the read offline feature.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-03-07 :: Category: Books

Comics Unlimited
Offering a little bit of everything, amongst a subscription service and a way to check out freebies, Comics Unlimited is a jack of all trades. Archie, CSI, Transformers, Dragon Age and Grimm Fairy Tales all happily reside together on this service and flexible subscription options make it all the more appealing. It’s simple to browse too, with intuitive controls and an attractive layout.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2013-01-09 :: Category: Books

VIZ Manga
We’ve focused a lot on Western comic books, but there are plenty of great apps for Manga fans too. VIZ Manga is one of the best, providing a similar experience to Comics but with a focus on Manga. Naruto, Bleack, Death Note, Dragon Ball and many more are available here, with monthly free previews ensuring it’s easy to find something new to entice one in.

FREE!
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-11-02 :: Category: Books

Last month, fans had the opportunity to gain access to over 700 free Marvel comics, for a limited time. Due to server issues, the promotion never had the chance to take off. It’s back, though! Fans can now sign up at Marvel.com until Midnight tonight to gain access to over 700 free comics to read on their computer or mobile device.

Comixology Marvel 700 Free Comics

via: Comixology and Marvel Offer 700 Free Comics source: Marvel Promo

Just yesterday, digital comics distributor and app developer, Comixology, announced a new initiative which would offer over 700 free comics, many of them first issues and Marvel Now! comics, via their iPad platform. We were excited to share the news with you this morning.

Once we started looking, though, at the Comixology site, we found out that the huge demand for the comics has caused some technical difficulties over on the server side of things. The Comixology CEO, David Steinberger, wrote on the site, “We expected a high degree of excitement for the Marvel initiative – and had believed ourselves prepared – but unfortunately we became overwhelmed by the immense response. We’re still struggling to keep our systems up.”

Seems like a lot of folks were trying to access the free comics, and weren’t able to get their stuff. Steinberger continued, “To that end, we’re pausing the Marvel Comics #1 promotion for the time being. For those of you that want to take advantage of the offer – you will get your comics! Until we are able to reinstate this program in our systems, please click here and fill out (a) simple form, so you can be informed as soon as there is an update.”

The link to the submission form is here, so head on over and add your email to the list. We’ll keep an eye out, as well, and let you know when we see that the system, and offer, is back online.

via: Kelly Sue source: Comixology Blog

ComiXology announced today a free, new submission portal for comics self-publishers called comiXology Submit. The company, developer of one of the first and most successful comics reading/buying apps on the App store, hopes to help comic book creators make money from their self-published efforts via ComiXology’s digital platform, which is already used by the likes of Marvel and DC. ComiXology has nearly 30,000 comics and graphic novels to choose from, with over 900 of those available for free

The service will begin as an invite-only beta, and will allow creators a way to sell their stuff via the comiXology platform. There’ll be some sort of approval process, and once ready, comics will be uploaded to the comiXology portal, available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 and the Web, with Guided View technology. This lets indie comics creators use the same panel to panel navigation system that the big guys use, and it will be applied to these self-published works entirely for free.

Initially starting out as invite-only/private beta, comiXology Submit will allow creators a free portal to easily access the comiXology platform. Submissions will go through an approval process and when approved comiXology will transform the uploaded work with their Guided View technology – for free. Then the work goes on sale worldwide with the creator and comiXology splitting the profits evenly.

“…having a way to let self-publishers participate … is good for our customers, for comiXology and for comics,” said co-founder John D. Roberts in a press release. “Having the most diverse material possible serves comiXology’s mission. It’s great that we can now open our platform to self-publishers and deliver a whole new wave of creative works to our customers.”

CEO David Steinberger feels the same way, noting that the company has come a long way since it started in July of 2009 with just a “handful of comics,” he said. “We are happy today, with the announcement of comiXology Submit, that we now have a turnkey system to service this incredibly vital part of the marketplace. ComiXology Submit, helps keep the promise to our customers of having the best and most diverse comic books and graphic novels available worldwide.”

If you’re a comic book creator interested in self-publishing your work via the comiXology platform, head over to submit.comixology.com and add your contact information. The platform should become available to anyone in the near future who has one or more comics, graphic novels, a webcomic, and even short one-shot comics creators.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-07-22 :: Category: Books

The hugely popular The Simpsons Bongo Comics have made their way to the iPhone and iPad, with an official app just released.

Simpsons Comics comes from the masters of all things iOS comic book related, ComiXology.

Much like ComiXology’s other apps, the initial download is free with new issues of The Simpsons based comics available, priced between $1.99 and $3.99. Recent and classic Bongo titles are included such as Simpsons Comics, Bart Simpson and Radioactive Man.

New Bongo comics will be available for purchase through the app within a month of their physical publication, with readers able to buy and download at least two digital releases a week, if they so wish.

Recommendations will also be available after finishing each comic book, so it’s an ideal way to steer new readers in the right direction for plenty of fun with Homer and the family.

Simpsons Comics is available now and it’s an Universal app.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-07-12 :: Category: Books

In case you’ve been living under a rock, DC comic book character Green Lantern is hitting the silver screen starting on June 17th. For those looking to either brush up on their Green Lantern comics, or for those looking to get in to the vast array of Green Lantern material, DC and ComiXology have a new Green Lantern Comics app available. This free universal app comes with a variety of Green Lantern comics to download. There are a variety of both free and paid comics to download, with a section under the Featured tab of comics recommended for newbies to the series. There are 16 different Green Lantern series comics to download, amassing over 200 different issues to download. Hardcore fans can also search for issues by specific storyline arcs as well. ComiXology users can log in with their account to link these comics to their account, or new users can register for an account right from within the app, so purchases will be logged and permanently stored with the ability to redownload, even if previously free comics become paid comics. Registration is optional, however. The Green Lantern Comics app is available from the App Store now.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-06-08 :: Category: Books

One of America’s classic pulp heroes from the 1930s is coming, again, to the silver screen in January of 2011. That’s right, in, like, a few weeks from today. In honor of and preparation for the film’s release, Dynamite Entertainment (publisher of the comic series, that’s plural) and comiXology (makers of an exceptionally good comic book reading app and subscription site) have come together to release an app centered around the Green Hornet’s fiction.

Those familiar with the comiXology site and application will certainly feel right at home with this little collection. The presentation, the reading software and the fluid navigation are all present except they’ve been done up in green and black in honor of the Green Hornet and his trusty sidekick, Kato.

Download the free app and you’ll get access to free samples and full issues (for purchase) across six different series. In total, 29 books are here for nerds new and old, while even the samples typically come in at about 10 pages in length. Fans of the old Green Hornet lore should know that these new runs by Dynamite rock in with new plots and a new rogues gallery.

And, yes, the Kevin Smith you see listed as an author on some of these titles is really that Kevin Smith. Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob, Zak and Miri. That guy. Bet you didn’t know he wrote comics. And, like that, it’s all coming together.

Sure, you could absolutely write this production off as nothing more than comiXology in green, but where’s the fun in that? The project serves as a great launching point for fans looking to dive deeper into the Green Hornet story than what will be offered in theaters later this month.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-01-05 :: Category: Books

Marvel Comics Review

Marvel Comics Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Judgment Day has at long last come for the traditional paper comic book. Ok, so maybe that's hyperbole (something Stan "The Man" Lee would no doubt appreciate) but Marvel Comics for the iPad represents a significant step forward for digital comics. Change is coming, my comic book fanboy friend, and this time it ain't caused by radioactive spiders or cosmic rays.

Read The Full Review »
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