Why Comic Book Fans Are Upset With Amazon

New post from Mark Tuminello –

mark tuminello comixologyThis new story on Vox about comic books was very interesting. If you’re not familiar with the world of comic books, which I am certainly not, there is an app that has dominated the online comic book world for two years. Comixology is the highest-earning iPad app in the Apple App Store (non-game app, that is). The app provides a way for people to purchase comic books with the tap of a finger, and displays them in all of their graphic glory.

In April, Amazon announced they were purchasing Comixology, which makes sense. Amazon is a major player in the world of book sales, dominating the online space. A spokesperson from the app made a statement that the company, brand and apps, wouldn’t be changed or otherwise affected by the purchase. But we’ve heard that before.

There are always changes when a company is acquired. Last week, users of the Comixology app found that Amazon had removed one-touch buying. We are now seeing a bevy of online backlash from users and publishers alike. Part of the reason Comixology was performing so well, was that it was very easy to use. Downloading comics was so easy, in fact, that analysts believe users spent more money. Sales tripled between 2011 and 2012, with $57 million in sales. They were a major player of comics moving into the digital space, with an estimated 20% of comics being purchased and consumed through internet apps.

The change made by Amazon seems minor, but the impact may be enough to give other comic book apps the opportunity to become new industry leaders. Apparently the buying process now involves several steps of verification of an account, and sends users out of the app and into the device’s web browser. Comixology is now a non-free pdf reader with links to purchase comic books. Users of the app are upset, because that’s not the app functionality that they bought last year.

Many comic book writers are coming forward to complain about the app, and users are finding themselves losing interest in some of their purchases during the purchase process.

The reason Amazon made the move is to remove the purchase from the iTunes infrastructure. Why let Apple get a piece of the pie when Amazon can be the sole beneficiary? It looks like they haven’t adequately measured the risk with the benefit. Removing the single most important part of an app, intuitive and easy purchasing, will kill it.

from Mark Tuminello http://ift.tt/1porNIG

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