“Off The Shelf” – One Week Later: iVerse Talk Digital Subscriptions

Following the talk about Apple’s digital subscription model, iVerse Media – creators of the iPhone and iPad Comics+ app – have the following to say:

It’s amazing how different things can be in a week.

This time last week our partnership with Diamond was announced, and speculation as to exactly what we were doing began immediately on all fronts. We trekked up to ComicsPRO in Dallas with Diamond and started the extremely important process of talking publicly with retailers to begin to evolve the program to fit their needs.

I want to thank everyone at ComicsPRO for allowing us to attend, and letting us be a part of the meeting. I can truly say it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had in comics thus far. This industry is filled with great people, and the team behind ComicsPRO put on one of the best organized and most productive events I’ve ever attended.

We’re already evolving the program to include more customization for retailers after having discussions with them at the meeting, and we’re keeping a close eye on online feedback to the explanations of the program as well. If you have thoughts about it, I’m always available on Twitter, and will respond to as much as I can.

Yesterday, Apple made an announcement about subscriptions that has riled the Internet up as well. If you haven’t been following it, what has happened is that Apple has made the subscription option used for “The Daily” available for all iOS developers. That, by itself, would be great. They have also officially made the change that Apps can no longer link to outside stores, and that anytime a user signs up with a service like Netflix or Rhapsody from the application, that they don’t have a choice but to do so through Apple.

As you can imagine, this has sparked quite a bit of controversy and discussion.

Currently for us this is largely not an issue. The kind of subscriptions they’re talking about are time based, and not product based like you would think of a traditional comic book subscription. You can’t subscribe to 6 issues of a series, for example, but you can subscribe to a title for 6 months. As we all know, with comics, sometimes it can take more than 6 months to get those 6 issues out…so we won’t be participating in the subscription program in that capacity right now.

I do have to wonder if moves like this will encourage companies like Netflix and Rhapsody to embrace other tablet platforms more quickly, and to promote those devices over the iPad and iPhone. HP has some very compelling stuff happening with WebOS…Android Honeycomb looks fantastic…and I have to say, I really dig the look of Windows Phone 7.

2011 is going to be a very interesting year in the digital space.


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