Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DC Comics: Quietly Undercutting The Direct Market

A big deal has been made about digital pricing, with an eye towards how DC will try to discount the cost of electronic comics to increase readership. Currently, the pricing is identical to the printer cover price for the first four weeks of release, which essentially makes it cost more than the print version, given the assorted discounts that can be found at brick and mortar shops as well as online retailers.


If you search for Tanga and DC Comics on some of the discount deal sites, like, you'll find them offering full year subscriptions to their physical books FOR LESS THAN A DOLLAR PER ISSUE. That is a discount that beats anything an actual retail partner could ever afford to regularly offer.

At the link above, you can see they have made this offer on Batman & Robin, Batman (twice!) and Swamp Thing. They've done this for Justice League and Green Lantern, as well. Some of the offerings came before the relaunch books were on the shelves, but I believe all came after the relaunch push was announced.

I could be wrong, but I believe at least four of the five are among their "greater than 100k sold" titles in the relaunch, with Justice League purportedly being well in excess of 200k. To put the fine point on it: they're largely cherry picking what are their bread and butter titles for the direct market to push for an obscene direct-to-the-customer discount.

You can name all the postal subscription drawbacks you like, but at a greater than 66% discount, you're increasingly likely to find a reader willing to make that sacrifice for a sweetheart deal.

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