Many comic fans may be settled in their digital comics buying habits by now, but that doesn’t mean publishers’ practices are set in stone.
This week, a reader alerted CBR that DC Comics had shifted the window for when it reduced prices on its monthly releases via its ComiXology-powered app. Previously, monthly comics from the DC line would drop in price by $1.00 after four weeks on ComiXology, but now new releases aren’t seeing that decrease until eight weeks after their release.
When reached for comment, a DC Entertainment spokesperson told CBR, “Digital comics is still a very young business and as such we are constantly evaluating the best business models and pricing strategies. Moving forward, all same-day digital books released on May 1 or later will drop in price by $1 two months after the initial release date. We will continue to offer an extensive back catalog of titles at a discounted rate, and all of our digital-first titles are available for $.99 per weekly issue. Unlike many of our competitors, we still offer a policy of discounting across our entire line.”
Despite many press releases touting their digital successes, almost no publishers offer hard data on what their digital comics sales numbers are. During DC’s previous run of sales press calls featuring SVPs John Cunningham and Bob Wayne, CBR ran the sales rankings of many DC titles with new day-and-date comics frequently taking the top spots in any given month (see examples here, here and here). However, without a hard metric it’s tough to say what number of readers buy new comics immediately versus ones who wait for the price on new issues to be reduced.
Still, it’s unlikely DC would extend the price drop window by an entire month if they didn’t feel there were a number of readers willing to pay full cover price in the immediate wake of a release just to be caught up with their stories in real time.
Stay tuned to CBR News for more on DC’s digital strategies as information becomes available.