FutureComics: ComiXology launches retailer digital storefronts

201108240359 FutureComics: ComiXology launches retailer digital storefronts
ComiXology’s digital storefront for physical comics shops went live yesterday, but not without some bumps. The release has been accelerated in order to get ready in time for DC’s digital day-and-date rollout next week, and some retailers have voiced concerns about the contract, including the fact that retailers cannot use customer data, while comiXology can, use of store logos and so on. The terms have already been amended a bit from the version posted at Bleeding Cool, which was leaked on a private retailer forum, so we won’t run it here. Although the basic agreement is that the stores are affiliates of comiXology, selling digital comics via their own sites, this is not entirely a comfortable idea for many retailers.

Despite all the worries, about 100 stores have signed on for the launch, according to the PR, below.

comiXology in partnership with ICv2, today launched over 100 online storefronts to sell digital comics as a result of its Digital Storefront program for retailers.  Participating comic retailers have gone live with their deployment of a comiXology-powered store and reader, enabling them to prosper from the sale of digital comics from top comic publishers, including DC Comics, Image, BOOM! Studios, Dynamite and many more. Also, in conjunction with DC and their Relaunch, all participating retailers will be able to sell all the same day as print comics.

Announced in January, the Digital Storefront program enables retailers the ability to sell digital comics with a simple integration into their existing site while tapping into comiXology’s vibrant digital marketplace. Any comic book fan will now be able to purchase digital comics online from their local comic store’s digital storefront with a portion of each purchase going directly to the retailer. All digital purchases will be compatible with the Comics by comiXology platform, providing fans the ability to enjoy their comics on their mobile devices (iOS and Android) and on the Web at their retailer’s websites by way of cross-platform synchronization.

“These retailers have put their trust in us from day one and we’re excited to make good on our commitment to bring them into the vibrant digital marketplace leveraging comiXology’s technology as a backbone for their success,” said David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology. “We have been working hard with our retail and publishing partners to make this program a reality for the benefit of the comic industry and take pride in starting to see it come to fruition.  We look forward to continuing on this important initiative and celebrating its success with all our partners.”

comiXology’s participating publishers DC Comics, Image, BOOM! Studios, Dynamite benefit from comiXology’s Digital Storefront Affiliate program through wider distribution on the Web and by strengthening the relationships between publishers, comic stores, and fans that have so successfully made comics a major force in world culture.
“Our deployment with comiXology as part of its Digital Storefront program for retailers marks the beginning of our introduction into the digital comic book world, which we believe will open up new revenue streams while strengthening our relationship with publishers and consumers,” said Chris Niles of Legacy Comics.  “From the adoption of its Retailer Tools and Pull List services, we’ve taken a long journey with comXology into the digital marketplace which culminated with the deployment of a comiXology-powered digital storefront and reader – making us one-stop shop for both print and digital comics.”

To request more information about the Digital Storefront Affiliate program, retailers can visit: http://retailers.comixology.com/digital_form/

Comments

  1. Torsten Adair says:

    Has anyone coded the Diamond Digital sales method so that it can be run via a website?
    (Customer visits store website.
    Customer buys barcode.
    Website redirects consumer to site where barcode is automatically redeemed and comic is downloaded.
    Customer avoids trip to comics shop.)

    There will be overlap between DDC/iVerse and Comixology.

    Which has a better margin?

    How many comics retailers have an e-commerce site where people can purchase merchandise online? And what’s to keep the Amazon Effect from hitting comics shops? (That’s where a customer buys online from a warehouse located far away, instead of shopping from a local retailer.) What if Westfield becomes a one-stop shopping center for comics? What happens to the LCS?

    (Oh, and with stores selling digital comics, the periodical sales are going to wither rather quickly. As Brian Hibbs has stated in his column, when you sell 5 of 6 copies of a title, that unsold copy can cut into the profit made on the other five copies. Why not order to subscriptions, and then sell digital copies at a discount so your store doesn’t have to deal with back issues and inventory taxes?)

  2. “As Brian Hibbs has stated in his column, when you sell 5 of 6 copies of a title, that unsold copy can cut into the profit made on the other five copies. Why not order to subscriptions, and then sell digital copies at a discount so your store doesn’t have to deal with back issues and inventory taxes?”

    Because…. then you’re not a store, but a catalog showroom? Proper retail is curation, as much as anything else.

    And, since you’ve invoked my name, allow me to say that, speaking only for myself, I could not possibly sign the offered contract. It is, in my personal opinion, a shit sandwich, embarrassingly one-sided and unreasonable in virtually every particular.

    -B

  3. Torsten Adair says:

    Hmmm… Associates of Comixology… is Comixology and/or the stores collecting sales tax?

    Thanks for the insight, Brian. But doesn’t curaton include selling comics, no matter what format the story is in? Is it not easier when one can say, here’s an issue you might enjoy, and then sell the digital copy, which is readily accessible? Could you sell copies of Astro City #1/2 as a geeky valentine? (And then sell trades when those significant others come back wanting more?)

    Oh, and feel free to use my hypothesis for a future Windmills column!

  4. “But doesn’t curaton include selling comics, no matter what format the story is in? ”

    Sure, but like I said, I believe the contract to do so to be blindingly unfair and unreasonable, and I sure as couldn’t do so under those terms.

    -B

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