We have introduced a new comiXology iPhone and iPad Comics App and are retiring the old one. iPhone and iPad users will now buy comics on comixology.com and download to the app.
In other words, they don’t want to give Apple 30%, which means that by the rules of the App Store there can be no purchasing within the app at all. The Google Play version does allow purchasing within the app, without giving Google a cut, since Google allows that. But then you presumably have to enter your credit card information in the app or store it on their Web site. I still think it would be to Apple’s long-term advantage to offer much cheaper payment processing. Apple would still make money, and the user experience would be better.
Update (2014-04-28): Gerry Conway:
By forcing readers to leave the app and go searching the Comixology website, add books to a cart, process the cart, return to the app, activate download, and wait for their purchases to appear, Comixology has replaced what was a quick, simple, intuitive impulse purchase experience with a cumbersome multi-step process that will provide multiple opportunities along the path for the casual reader to think twice and decide, ah, never mind, I don’t really want to try that new book after all. I’ll stick with what I know. Or worse, when a new casual reader opens the Comixology app for the first time and sees that THERE ARE NO COMICS THERE, and that he or she will have to exit the app and go somewhere else and sign up for a new account, maybe he or she won’t bother buying a comic in the first place.
He thinks this is about about advancing the Kindle platform rather than Apple’s 30%. I don’t think this argument makes much sense economically or strategically. Amazon is in the content business.
Update (2014-04-29): Moises Chiullan:
By purchasing ComiXology what was previously ComiXology’s “piece of the pie” is now Amazon’s. That piece grows, but the publisher’s portion also grows, and therefore the amount that can be paid out to creators is larger. I asked ComiXology’s Mosher directly: Will the reduced overhead mean that more revenue can and will go to creators, whether they’re big-time publishers or independent creators? “Yes,” he said.
Update (2014-05-12): I really enjoyed John Siracusa’s take on this issue.
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