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  1. #1
    DC Enthusiast Tony's Avatar
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    Default If DC reduced digital pricing

    What if digital books were priced at $1.99 and went down to a dollar after say 3 months or even 6. Would it change how you bought comics if you normally buy physical books? Would you buy more comics if they were more affordable?

    We know it's profitable. They don't lose money on .99 cent sales, or $3.99 for a 25 dollar trade sale. A big part of the price starting out full retail is to keep comic shops happy, they also want to maximize profit I'm sure, but would it be made up in volume? Marvel will let you read everything they publish for as little as $5 dollars a month if you catch the yearly digital unlimited sale, you just need to stay 6 moths behind.

    I don't think anyone is really taking advantage of digital. At one time people from both companies said they wouldn't ever release the same day as print, all it took was Archie breaking the ice and everyone followed suit. Older books never make the top of the sales charts, so I don't think they sell well after the first couple months, why not entice a larger pool of readers. If new readers is the goal, and digital is the future, they are failing. I think being able to follow DC at half the price of Marvel would be a good way to grow long term customer loyalty.

  2. #2
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    I would love a price drop then I could get more comic real and digital

  3. #3
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    They would need to go down further than $1.99 for new. I can get $2.99 books for $1.79 or less from Discount Comic Book service and have to wait at most a month to get them, some of them less than that (by virtue of getting a shipment once a month).

  4. #4
    Mighty Member brandnewfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlennSimpson View Post
    They would need to go down further than $1.99 for new. I can get $2.99 books for $1.79 or less from Discount Comic Book service and have to wait at most a month to get them, some of them less than that (by virtue of getting a shipment once a month).
    This, basically. I would rather do digital, for space saving issues mainly. Plus it's just fun to read comics on my iPad, and being able to take them literally anywhere with me.

    But selling new books at the standard retail price of $2.99 or $3.99 (or more in some cases)...no thanks, not when I can get the exact same thing, only in physical form, for much cheaper.

  5. #5
    Mighty Member C_Miller's Avatar
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    I like physical comics too much. I like physical everything and I probably won't switch until I'm forced to. Personally, I'd like DC to adopt Marvel Unlimited's model. They sell the digital issue and the 6 months after its release, you can read it with the purchase of the package similar to Netflix. That's the only way that I'd really go digital. And maybe I would if I could save them to my own hard drive. I do take issue with having to pay for something that I can't use without the ap/access to the internet.

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    I've gone digital, for space saving.
    I still have a few boxes of paper comics and TPBs, mostly stuff that's completed or not fully available in digital, like JLI, Madman and the Sienkiewicz run of New Mutants (which are also signed).
    But I either wait until the price drops to $1.99 or only get a few books a month because $4 or $5 a comic is outrageous.

    If comics were as popular as music, tv or movies, they would be making a killing in digital.
    Comics need a fraction of the budget that movies or shows require.
    If anything, I would wager that a comic costs about the same to make as a song. A TPB's worth of issues would be roughly the equivalent of an album.
    And if comics do become popular, as long as no one knows exactly how popular, they could keep the $4 or $5 pricetag indefinitely.

    I think the company to watch about pricing will be Archie.
    They're smaller than DC or Marvel and more willing to take risks.
    And they're having a banner year with the Red Circle line and New Archie.
    Granted, a lot of that extra digital profit is being eaten up to get A-list talent. So it's possible that instead of them dropping prices right now, they'll take that extra money and grab a few more A-listers to expand their new lines.
    If we do see Archie lower prices, it probably won't be until after they have a full line of New Archie books and the profits aren't being eaten up for growth.

    And while Archie lowering prices wouldn't normally affect DC and Marvel... a fuller line of Red Circle, Archie Horror and New Archie level quality books suddenly being $1.99 each could make them take notice.
    "There's magic in the sound of analog audio." - CNET.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member brandnewfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Miller View Post
    I like physical comics too much. I like physical everything and I probably won't switch until I'm forced to. Personally, I'd like DC to adopt Marvel Unlimited's model. They sell the digital issue and the 6 months after its release, you can read it with the purchase of the package similar to Netflix. That's the only way that I'd really go digital. And maybe I would if I could save them to my own hard drive. I do take issue with having to pay for something that I can't use without the ap/access to the internet.
    Agreed on the DC Unlimited, in the same vein as Marvel Unlimited. It should happen, and I think it eventually will.

    As far as reading offline, Marvel Unlimited lets you download 12 books at a time for offline reading. Comixology...once you buy a book and upload it to your device it's there for offline reading too.

  8. #8
    DC Enthusiast Tony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlennSimpson View Post
    They would need to go down further than $1.99 for new. I can get $2.99 books for $1.79 or less from Discount Comic Book service and have to wait at most a month to get them, some of them less than that (by virtue of getting a shipment once a month).
    Unfortunately $2.99 comics seem to be going away for the $3.99 $4.99 price points and I wonder if the $1.79 comes with free shipping. On the digital plus side you'd be getting no wait instant gratification. I have however heard many people say they only pay 99cents or less. I think it stems from music singles and a 1 dollar 1 song, 1 dollar 1 comic mentality that I agree with.

    If the back issues were a dollar all the time I know I would be spending a lot more money. For me I even pass on some sales at a dollar like the recent Robin sale. I like Robin quite a bit and want to get the series, but it's blind buying. I know I like Chuck Dixon so I bought those and stopped. Now they are no longer on sale so I haven't gotten anymore. If the price was a dollar, an amount I personally think of as fair I know I would have have already tried out more if not all depending on my level of enjoyment for the different writers.

    All that to say I kind of agree with you on a dollar would be more my speed but I both think I'd pay more (say 2 dollars) to stay current, and since that puts them at half a Marvel book (their basically 3.99 now right? I don't read em) and DC knows that the majority of sales happen as the book comes out (just look at the top books on Amazon and Comixology each week) I do think there will be a stepdown process.

    As to the Netflix style set up I'm all for it but I do think staying current at a reasonable price is the rout I would take if for no other reason than being able to participate in internet circles that would spoil the books had I not read them yet.

    Edit: I should stress I think being able to stay current and engage with others and read news sites is something I am willing to pay more for over a Netflix setup. I love being involved in my hobby beyond just reading the books. TV viewers can go Hulu and get new shows or go Netflix and get all the "back issues" of TV shows. Maybe a few dollars more for a premium DC netfilix that gives you both but since you only have the books as long as your a subscriber I don't know how much more you could charge without forcing people into the wait 6 month tier.
    Last edited by Tony; 02-05-2016 at 12:56 PM.

  9. #9
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brandnewfan View Post
    Agreed on the DC Unlimited, in the same vein as Marvel Unlimited. It should happen, and I think it eventually will.

    As far as reading offline, Marvel Unlimited lets you download 12 books at a time for offline reading. Comixology...once you buy a book and upload it to your device it's there for offline reading too.
    This is an interesting article about digital music, subscription based pricing and consumer growth/decline that may well be interesting.
    "There's magic in the sound of analog audio." - CNET.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    Unfortunately $2.99 comics seem to be going away for the $3.99 $4.99 price points and I wonder if the $1.79 comes with free shipping. On the digital plus side you'd be getting no wait instant gratification. I have however heard many people say they only pay 99cents or less. I think it stems from music singles and a 1 dollar 1 song, 1 dollar 1 comic mentality that I agree with.

    If the back issues were a dollar all the time I know I would be spending a lot more money. For me I even pass on some sales at a dollar like the recent Robin sale. I like Robin quite a bit and want to get the series, but it's blind buying. I know I like Chuck Dixon so I bought those and stopped. Now they are no longer on sale so I haven't gotten anymore. If the price was a dollar, an amount I personally think of as fair I know I would have have already tried out more if not all depending on my level of enjoyment for the different writers.

    All that to say I kind of agree with you on a dollar would be more my speed but I both think I'd pay more (say 2 dollars) to stay current, and since that puts them at half a Marvel book (their basically 3.99 now right? I don't read em) and DC knows that the majority of sales happen as the book comes out (just look at the top books on Amazon and Comixology each week) I do think there will be a stepdown process.

    As to the Netflix style set up I'm all for it but I do think staying current at a reasonable price is the rout I would take if for no other reason than being able to participate in internet circles that would spoil the books had I not read them yet.

    Edit: I should stress I think being able to stay current and engage with others and read news sites is something I am willing to pay more for over a Netflix setup. I love being involved in my hobby beyond just reading the books. TV viewers can go Hulu and get new shows or go Netflix and get all the "back issues" of TV shows. Maybe a few dollars more for a premium DC netfilix that gives you both but since you only have the books as long as your a subscriber I don't know how much more you could charge without forcing people into the wait 6 month tier.
    I was referencing the $1.79 because the person I was quoting was using the $1.99 (which is the $1 off from $2.99). I get $3.99 books for like $2.39 or $2.49, still less than the $2.99 I would pay for them when the price drops (and the price thus far only drops for DC books, while I'm getting the discount on both DC and Marvel print).

    There are shipping costs of like $8.00, but in my case when you spread that out over about 200 books, it doesn't add much per book.

    And assuming I would still have to wait at least a month for the price to drop on digital, I am actually still getting my books faster than with digital.

    But if i can get a DC or Marvel book that would normally be $3.99 for less than about $2.25 on digital, within less than a month of release, I'd probably jump on that. I mean, if I can fully shift over everything, I don't want to divide it up.

    Heck, I fully expect it to happen at some point, I'm just waiting.

  11. #11
    It sucks to be right BohemiaDrinker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlennSimpson View Post
    They would need to go down further than $1.99 for new. I can get $2.99 books for $1.79 or less from Discount Comic Book service and have to wait at most a month to get them, some of them less than that (by virtue of getting a shipment once a month).
    Fair point; however, it bears noticing that digital has worldwide potential. I am all digital, because among other stuff (space being an issue), I save the cost of shipping and get the comics as soon as they're out, here in Brazil, while with physical copies I had to wait a month or so.

    The problems with digital using the overseas market to grow are many, however; from local laws to the language barrier to publication deals (mostly Panini worldwide, for translated editions, AFAIK).

    That said, for the US inside marketing, I don't think retailers would be happy with the cheapest digital pricing - back in 2011 there were already many of them positioning themselves against stuff like that. So it's a delicate balance. For now, at least.
    ConnEr Kent flies. ConnOr Hawke has a bow. Batman's kid is named DamiAn.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BohemiaDrinker View Post
    Fair point; however, it bears noticing that digital has worldwide potential. I am all digital, because among other stuff (space being an issue), I save the cost of shipping and get the comics as soon as they're out, here in Brazil, while with physical copies I had to wait a month or so.

    The problems with digital using the overseas market to grow are many, however; from local laws to the language barrier to publication deals (mostly Panini worldwide, for translated editions, AFAIK).

    That said, for the US inside marketing, I don't think retailers would be happy with the cheapest digital pricing - back in 2011 there were already many of them positioning themselves against stuff like that. So it's a delicate balance. For now, at least.
    Aren't you paying the full cover (adjusted for your currency) when you buy day-of, though?

  13. #13
    It sucks to be right BohemiaDrinker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlennSimpson View Post
    Aren't you paying the full cover (adjusted for your currency) when you buy day-of, though?
    I am, but I'm not paying shipping, which made the price go way up for me, specially if I was buying few comics. And it took about month - sometimes more, because you don't wanna know about customs here in Brazil - for the comics to reach my hands. So the general equation was:

    Physical: cover price + shipping price + minimum one month wait.
    Digital: cover price + no waiting.

    That's why I think digital has a good potential as worldwide platform. But again, local laws, publishing deals and the language barrier are obstacles for it. (The language barrier is easy to surpass, the other ones, not so much).
    ConnEr Kent flies. ConnOr Hawke has a bow. Batman's kid is named DamiAn.

    To do spoiler tags, use [ spoil ] at the start of the sentence and [ /spoil ] at the end, without the spaces. You're welcome!

  14. #14
    DC Enthusiast Tony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Stone View Post
    This is an interesting article about digital music, subscription based pricing and consumer growth/decline that may well be interesting.
    It was an interesting look from more of the inside of the music industry. I took it as his position being in line with what I was saying. DC wants growth and customer recognition and loyalty. You could bring more people in to buy your comics and thus your t-shirts and movie tickets with a bigger customer base.

  15. #15
    DC Enthusiast Tony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BohemiaDrinker View Post
    I am, but I'm not paying shipping, which made the price go way up for me, specially if I was buying few comics. And it took about month - sometimes more, because you don't wanna know about customs here in Brazil - for the comics to reach my hands. So the general equation was:

    Physical: cover price + shipping price + minimum one month wait.
    Digital: cover price + no waiting.

    That's why I think digital has a good potential as worldwide platform. But again, local laws, publishing deals and the language barrier are obstacles for it. (The language barrier is easy to surpass, the other ones, not so much).
    I always assumed cover price changed by location to get the most from what people in the area could afford. Is it just US price adjusted by currency rate?

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