Following in the footsteps of Marvel, DC is coming out with its own iPad and iPhone digital comics app. Price points for the comics will range from 99 cents to $2.99, with $1.99 being the standard digital price for $2.99 print comics. DC will also be offering a retailer affiliate program through Comixology, presumably intended to assuage some of the worries comic book retailers have expressed about the onset of digital comics.
Comics Alliance has an in-depth interview with DC co-publisher Jim Lee about how DC digital comics will work, and what the implications of the program are for readers, artists, and retailers.
One interesting element Lee brings up is that DC is going for a buy-once, read-anywhere type of system:
One of the elements of our strategy is some measure of conversion; if you buy something on the Comixology site or the app on your iPhone, or on DCComics.com or the DC Comics app on your iPad you’ll be able to read them on all other places.
He also addressed piracy concerns, noting that it does impact their business, and partly due to piracy DC has a day and date release strategy. He sees the release of legally-available digital comics as a strategy for fighting piracy:
I also think that part of the appeal isn’t just offering the same thing; I think you have to offer something that’s more elegant, that’s easier to use, that fits into the rest of your library, that basically has a consistency of quality so that you know what you’re getting.
I still think $1.99 an issue is too pricey, but to be fair I don’t buy comics in the first place because I think they cost too much. It does, at least, fall on the right side of the e-versus-print value equation in that it is cheaper than the print version.