iVerse Shakes Up Digital Comics with ComicsPLUS 8.0

ComicsPlus_Logo_2012As much as 2014 has been about diversity in comics, the second big story is digital comics, and the massive quakes over the year. We had Image going DRM free (followed later by other publishers), comiXology being bought by Amazon, and the emergence of alternate business plans with apps like Farrago. Now iVerse, which had  been a distant second behind comiXology, seems to be doubling down and making their case as to why individuals should give the digital app a second look with ComicsPLUS 8.0.

The updated app features:

  • All-New Design
  • Graphic Novel Rentals w/ OFFLINE READING
  • uView enhanced reading experience
  • Enhanced Search w/ Popular and Saved Search Options
  • Import Digital File support (ePub, PDF, CBR, CBZ)
  • uView creation and editing for imported files
  • In-App Parental Controls

The new app has been built from the ground up, and the addition of being able to add PDFs that aren’t purchased is huge. Their new “rental” program also adds a new revenue stream and business model that should be interesting and allows people to “rent select graphic novels for 24, 48, or 120 hours.  Rented comics  can be viewed offline without the need for an Internet connection.”

The uView feature is interesting in that it allows individuals to edit their own reading experience in a do-it-yourself guided view. My guess is, this is a feature that’ll be generally underused as it takes away reading time.

On top of a shiny new app though is the big news that all of DC Comics’s monthly comics will now be available on iVerse and backlist is coming. DC’s move continues the slow chipping away at comiXology’s dominance through selection alone, though the chances of people completely abandoning their past purchases for a new app are pretty low. While DC’s comics have been available digitally for some time, it was only the comiXology platform that really had them when it came to apps.

That’s a lot of pretty big news on the digital comic front for the end of the year, and wraps up a pretty shaky year as a whole. My gut (and what I hear through the grapevine) says this is only the beginning, and we should expect some bigger news in 2015.