Comixology, the digital comics distributor and marketplace, announced plans to offer a new digital subscription service that allows consumers to pay-for and receive series updates automatically as well as the ability to purchase digital bundles, groups of books and periodical comics offered at a discount off list price. The digital vendor also released software updates for iOS devices that enhance reading functionality and released new French language comics content from 14 French publishers.
In order to subscribe, consumers must do it through the Comixology website. Consumers simply click on comics series they are interested in and they're taken to a page that will offer the subscription option. The option will also display the price (either for a periodical issue, the trade paperback collection, or both). Once the consumer subscribes to the title they will receive an email notice when a new issue/volume is available and the service will charge the consumer’s credit card and deliver the digital issue to the consumer’s online library. The subscription service will offer new issues only, not back issues, collections or any prior installments.
Fans have been calling for a subscription service for a while and the new subscription service allows them to buy and receive automatically the books they know they want. In addition, the launch of the bundling service allows publishers to offer a variety of digital comics grouped in a variety of ways—multiple issues of a periodical series, or offer extra content and value-adds—and sell them at a discounted price off the individual list prices. The service is launching with 17 initial bundles on Comixology.com and includes the Image Collections Starter Bundle ($35.99), which includes the first volumes of, well, a bundle of hit trade paperbacks of Image series such as Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga, Ed Brubaker and Phillips Fatale and Nathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra’s Manhattan Projects among the 5 collections included in the bundle.
Other bundles include The Adventure Time Bundle ($11.99) with 9 issues of the periodical comic book; Love & Rockets: Locas Bundle ($60) with five paperback collections (Fantagraphics) of classic Jaime Hernandez stories focused on his great characters, among them Maggie the Mechanic and Penny Century; and there’s also Richard Stark’s Parker Omnibus ($25), which includes the three book collections (IDW) by Darwyn Cooke, The Hunter, The Outfit and The Score.
Comixology has also added new reading features to its app, including Fit-to-Width, which automatically resizes a single full page of a comic when the iPad is held in landscape mode, and Two-Page View, which resizes and displays two full pages at once when the iPad is held in landscape mode. The updates are for the iPad only.
Comixology cofounder David Steinberger has said that as many as 40% of Comixology members sign on from overseas. And after launching a French-language Comixology and opening a French office, the service continues to expand its international business and announced deals with 14 new French comics publishers for content. All combined, the 14 new publishers represent 40% of the entire French bandes dessinées (comics), comic book, graphic novel, and manga market, according to Comixology.
Comixology co-founder John D. Roberts said “We are excited to help our customers get their favorite series automatically with our new subscription functionality. It means you don’t have to remember when the next issue comes out and you’ll be notified when it is ready to read on your device. And with Comixology bundles, isn’t it great that you can now get bundles of great titles at significant savings with just one click? I can’t wait for our customers to see both features in action.”