Let’s Get Digital – Diamond Digital

A while back Diamond announced that they were going to launch some form of digital initiative and yesterday we got some of the details in a press release from them.

What Diamond are attempting to do is make hay from the digital marketplace without alienating their retailer customers. This is nigh-on impossible task and while I like to kick Diamond as much as the next man I don’t envy them in their desire to not ignore a burgeoning market whilst relying almost utterly on retailers for their revenue.

Diamond Digital seems to have three main strands:

  1. Day & Date releases of digital titles priced at $1.99 by redeeming online a code you can only buy in an LCS with 30 day exclusivity
  2. 99c digital copies of titles for those who buy the hard copy in an LCS with 30 day exclusivity
  3. The ability for LCSs to run websites selling digital comics and making a cut

iVerse have stated that they don’t have to pay Apple a cut (from which I’ve inferred that you purchase your code for option 1 rather than being given it and then purchasing the comic) and that stores will be able to sell other collected digital editions. Given Apple’s recent efforts to ensure that all content viewed through iOS apps is purchased via the app store I’ll be interested to see how well iVerse do in being able to stick to this.

Day & Date is a powerful motivator for a lot of people and with publishers such as Top Cow, IDW and Tokyopop onboard you could see this being of interest, but…and this is a big but, are people really going to walk into a comic store in order to purchase a digital comic to then download once they’ve redeemed their code through the Comics+ app? I just can’t see it, to me this feels like a clunky attempt to golden handcuff customers to physical stores.

I’d love it to be a success, but this isn’t the Great Byte Hope that the digital marketplace has been looking for.

Author: Dave Williams

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