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The Math of comiXology’s Change in One Handy Graphic

There’s been a lot said of comiXology‘s recent decision to remove in-app purchasing in the iOS version of their digital comic app service, as well as no longer allowing purchases through Google Play. Many immediately looked only at the negative (really a minor change in how you make purchases in the app), posting emotionally driven rants that ignored the known facts. I wrote my take on the change as well as my overall thoughts on the acquisition of comiXology by Amazon.

I’m a fact driven person, so it all comes down to the numbers. And no matter how anyone attempts to spin it, the comic industry, and the creators, make out better with this change. How much better? Well, we put together this handy little graphic that lays out how much publishers or creators received before and after  this change. More money for both creators and publishers is a good thing.

comixology apple submit math





  • You’re assuming the change is too minor to reduce the number of comics Comixology sells. Many people–myself included–think sales will drop because of this change. Which of course reduces the money companies and creators earn.

    Second, I buy comics cause I enjoy them not to support the creators. That sounds very harsh, and it’s not like I don’t want them to earn a decent living. I want everyone to…but that’s not my motivation for buying a comic.

    Also, I now have a couple of hundred dollars in my iTunes account that I bought at 20% off especially to buy comics on Comixology. Obviously I bought that at my own risk but it still pisses me off.

  • The difference in spin, as you put it, is that availability to impulse buy. If 80% of handheld purchases was through the apple app store, you must see how much of a difference that can create if even half those buyers just stopped using comixology all together.

    If purchases were 1:1 the same as it was before this change, then this would create a profit gain to the industry. It is not. The hoops one has to go through to purchase through the online store now causes you to want to buy less. Even if you were an avid buyer, walking into a comic store, you might pick up that indy comic that is showcased next to your issue of Batman. It’s the same with the app version. One can see them side by side and get it. On the website, you will go straight to what you want and move on. That’s a LOSS.

    Then don’t ignore the fact one has to have paypal to purchase through their website. This alienates people who don’t have a bank account nor a credit card. So those kids that are gifted with iTunes cards will put that money elsewhere.

    Simple facts as you put it makes it look like a plus, but in the long run will just HURT the consumer and will just further bring the comic industry less new readers.