Newsarama is running a poll on the best price point for downloadable comics, following up on Filip Sablik’s recent column. Is it free? 99¢ per comic, like iTunes? Subscription bundling?
The problem is that I can’t pick an option on the poll, because for me, it really depends on the device.
If we’re talking comics chopped up for small-screen viewing (iPhone, for instance), then I would prefer free with ads. Unless a story is initially designed for that format, it seems more like a way to sample new series — something iVerse is clearly targeting with their current Android material, offering most first issues for free and then charging for the subsequent ones.
If we’re talking the hypothetical tablet-sized device that displays comics at a comparable size to present-day print comics, then I’d be a bit more willing to pay $0.99 off the bat, or possibly a $5.00/month subscription for more than 5 books.
If we’re talking downloadable comics to display on the desktop computer screen…now that I think about it, probably free. I read a lot of webcomics, but I’ve never once paid for a subscription even to gain access to archives. (I have, however, donated to a few cartoonists, and bought print collections of several series.)
So… how much would you pay for digital comics?
I’m not terribly excited about the idea of the comic industry going digital… it will certianly have an adverse impact on both the value of comics as a commodity to the consumer and diminish the competive ability of comic book stores to stay afloat. That being said, it’s probably inevitable anyway.
I guess 99 cents sounds good, but the more comics have moved away from my tastes, the more I’ve moved away from them. As a result, they’re less valuable to me (the newer stuff, anyway) than they might’ve been some years back.
That said, I buy the comics on dvd like a madman. Last night, I read the first three issues of The Incredible Hulk, EVER, including ads and letters pages for what probably amounted to somewhere between 5 and 10 cents per ish.
And I can choose from all the comics that didn’t include the elements I find somewhat distasteful, today. (Although, I only feel that way about the comics in the icons’ universes. Imprints don’t bother me much, at all.)
.-= West’s latest blog post: You Made Me Wonder, Woman. =-.