Diamond and iVerse to launch Digital Stores on July 23rd

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Digital Comics Reader logo Diamond and iVerse to launch Digital Stores on July 23rd
After a long testing period, and a lot of controversy along the way, Diamond and iVerse are finally going live with Diamond Digital on July 23rd. The program will allow Diamond accounts to set up their own digital storefront, sell download codes and otherwise engage in the digital sales that everyone thought would kill comics but which has, instead, led to growing sales.

The program has been in beta for some time now, with some lively feedback from participating retailers. Publishers represented in the program include IDW, Image, Archie, APE, Arcana, Bluewater, BOOM!, Broadsword, Hermes, Sea Lion, Top Shelf, Viper Comics, and Within Temptation—Marvel and DC have yet to opt in.

Diamond Comic Distributors and iVerse Media are pleased to announce the official launch of Diamond Digital, a unique initiative which will empower 3,000+ independently owned and operated comic book specialty retailers worldwide to sell digital content both in their stores and on their websites.  The new service will launch on Monday, July 23rd.

Thanks to Diamond Digital, comic fans will be able to read a wide variety of digital content on comic shop websites, and to download the content to their mobile devices via a “Digital Comics Reader” App for iOS and Android, with free cloud storage for all their Diamond Digital purchases.

diamond digital WEB Diamond and iVerse to launch Digital Stores on July 23rd
“As more and more comic books and graphic novels have become available digitally, we’ve determined it’s very important to help the retailers we serve sell digital content, in addition to print, should they so desire,” said Diamond President & CEO Steve Geppi. “In pursuing this goal, we’ve been very fortunate to work with iVerse Media to design a system which gives comic book fans a way to enjoy digital content while still supporting their favorite comic book retailer.”

“We’re proud of the fact that we’ll be offering comic shops the same kinds of tools companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble use to sell digital content,” added iVerse CEO Michael Murphy.  “We believe very strongly in the future of the comic book industry, in both the print and digital formats, and we’re committed to helping retailers provide the best of both worlds to their customers.”

Starting on Monday, July 23, a weekly cycle will begin whereby retailers can log on to www.diamonddigital.com with their Diamond username and password and generate digital redemption codes for sale in their stores.  These codes will be redeemable by fans starting on Wednesday, July 26. In-store, retailers will have the choice of selling codes for day-and-date digital editions of new comics, usually at the same SRP as their print equivalents, and/or digital “Plus” edition codes, which will typically be priced at $.99 with the purchase of a physical copy.  Codes can be redeemed at retailers’ websites, or at www.digitalcomicsreader.com.  Customers can also purchase Diamond Digital content directly from participating retailers’ websites and access the comics immediately on the web or in the Apple iOS or Android app.

On the 23rd, retailers will also find more details about the online aspects of the Diamond Digital program at www.diamonddigital.com, including three different options for easily integrating Diamond Digital sales into their websites. The Easy Link option enables any Diamond retailers with a Business PayPal account to add a link from their website, newsletter or Facebook page to their custom micro-site hosted on www.digitalcomicreader.com to begin making sales. The Plug & Play option gives retailers greater flexibility by allowing them to add Diamond Digital functionality into their existing websites.  The API option is a fully-customizable solution for retailers already expert in e-commerce.  Diamond Digital functionality can also be integrated into existing search, shopping cart and payment systems on the retailer’s site.  Any retailer can also participate simply by selling codes in-store and directing their customers to www.digitalcomicsreader.com to redeem the codes and read their comics.

At launch, over 4,000 digital comic books and graphic novels will be available, with new releases being added each week.  Participating publishers include: IDW, Image, Archie, APE, Arcana, Bluewater, BOOM!, Broadsword, Hermes, Sea Lion, Top Shelf, Viper Comics, and Within Temptation, with more to be added in the coming weeks and months.  

Cheryl Sleboda, Diamond Manager of Retail Technology, concluded “Thanks to testing and guidance from numerous retailers during our development process, we’ve put together a strong, flexible solution for comic shops that want to sell digital content—one we think comic fans will appreciate as well.  Going forward, Diamond and iVerse are available to guide retailers through the set-up process, and we welcome their additional input as we strive to realize the full potential of this program.”

“I’d also like to thank the over fifty retailers who helped with beta testing and worked with us on development of the program over the past year—their help has been invaluable in designing a digital solution that works for all retailers.”

Comments

  1. Interesting. I hope it works out to benefit all players on the field. In particular it would be interesting to see action on the Publisher’s side which could promote sales / codes *via* the retailer for special incentives (either in-store or through a shopping cart on a retailer’s website).

    The only issue I see (well there are others) but one that sticks out… is that not all retailers have decent websites, or use the Internet in the same way. Granted a Facebook page is the easiest default and (as noted above) if retailers can link through that then they can reach some online eyeballs / traffic.

    Still, one can only wonder how this will all play out. But it’s better to be active and get started on *something* rather than ponder the unknown future. I wish everyone the best of luck and success.

  2. Torsten Adair says:

    Okay… I’m gonna keep pointing out the elephant in the room…

    What’s to keep an online retailer from automating the online sales, so that books are available 24/7? (The consumer wouldn’t even need to redeem the code, the website would do it automatically.)

    What’s to keep that same retailer from selling the digital comics at a steep discount, since everything is automated and overhead is low? In other words, what’s to keep that retailer from becoming the “Amazon” of online comics retailing?

    “$1.99 for a digital comic? No thanks, I’ll go to comic.books.com and get it there.”

    The digital comics become (almost) a loss leader to bring customers to the website. Then they find other stuff, word of mouth spreads, and the millions of people who don’t live near a comics shop (or don’t visit their friendly neighborhood comics shop) start shopping online at that one website.

    The online retailer could even offer subscriptions, with automated delivery! Since all sales are tracked, the retailer can even recommend titles based on creators, characters, events…

    Digital comics stay in print for as long as the publisher makes the data files available. There’s no back-issue bin. Online specials can be offered “Buy a #1 issue at regular price. When you buy any other numbered issue, even from another series, we’ll credit your account.” (This uses the “first one is always free” strategy to get people to try new series.)

    Yup, Mr. Robinson nails it on the head.

    So many stores have the equivalent of a cigar box for a website. (Remember when Marvel started their cash register program?) How many stores have electronic point-of-sales systems? How many stores sell books on their websites?

  3. Torsten Adair says:

    Hmmm…
    Barnes & Noble has a relationship with iVerse.

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