Amazon's ComiXology Acquisition Has Some Readers Concerned

Apr 11 2014, 7:12pm CDT | by

Amazon's ComiXology Acquisition Has Some Readers Concerned
Photo Credit: Forbes Apple

Amazon yesterday announced that it would be acquiring ComiXology, a combo app and store for comic books on digital devices. Think of it as an iTunes for the Marvel and DC crowd.

The app is quite popular with tablet owners that consume comics. Anyone who’s ever read a comic knows that they’re typically formatted with several panels per page, and the ComiXology app uses a patented technology called Guided View that lets users follow the action one panel at a time, making for a very linear and elegant way to present a story.

In addition, ComiXology’s store offers most mainstream titles at the same time that they hit physical store shelves, usually at the same price.

But the part that Amazon is likely most interested in is ComiXology’s self-publishing platform, that allows independent authors and artists an avenue to get their comics in the hands of fans while making a bit of money at the same time.

According to David Steinberger, ComiXology’s CEO, the brand would remain as it is as a subsidiary of Amazon. This is good news to digital comics fans, as for many, the app’s ecosystem has completely replaced the purchase of paper comics. But some questions remain for readers.

“I worry about where that leaves digital partners,” says Jason Lamb, a Seattle-based digital comics expert. “There’s a program that lets local stores sell ComiXology digital comics [and they receive] a small percentage. That was a really great gesture from ComiXology, they being retail’s direct competitors. I think that’s out of a love for all things comics on their part.”

I asked if he thought it was likely Amazon would keep that program going, and Lamb told me, “I don’t see Amazon being so kind regarding that initiative. In the recent past, Amazon had a deal with DC so that it could sell their collections through the Kindle store exclusively. I would think that had something to do with the physical distribution side, as it doesn’t make practical sense when ComiXology has far more readers, exposure, and cross pollination of brands.”

There’s also concern that Amazon may hinder further development on non-Kindle tablets, like the Apple’s iPad. That seems unlikely, though, as Amazon has been pro-active on making apps for other platforms. It’s quite easy to read Kindle books on a Samsung Galaxy Tab, for example.

Still, Amazon isn’t being very forthcoming with information about the acquisition. “I hope they’ll invest in better reading experiences, such as higher resolution scans, or a better user flow,” Lamb said.  A spokesperson refused to comment on Amazon’s plans by the time this story went live, and Amazon’s silence is making some fans nervous. “That makes me suspicious about this acquisition.”

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Users Facing Wi-Fi Connectivity Issues in the New OS X Yosemite
Users Facing Wi-Fi Connectivity Issues in the New OS X Yosemite
Users complain about different problems related to the Wi-Fi, including abrupt disconnection and slow transfer rate
 
 
Court Enables Police to Compel Users Unlocking the iPhones with the Fingerprint
Court Enables Police to Compel Users Unlocking the iPhones with the Fingerprint
The Judge rules that it will be permissible for police to force an alleged criminal to unlock his device with the fingerprint
 
 
iPhones Could Be Coming To Iran
iPhones Could Be Coming To Iran
The Cupertino company is in talks to warm relations with the isolated country
 
 
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Comes Out As Gay
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Comes Out As Gay
The CEO publicly acknowledged his sexuality for the first time
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Bharat-Nepal Shiksha Maitri Karyakram launched
Kathmandu, Nov 1 (IANS) In the line with the announcement made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the first week of August, the "Bharat-Nepal Shiksha Maitri Karyakram" for Nepalese students pursuing...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
1,273 people killed in Iraq violence in October: UN
Baghdad, Nov 1 (IANS) A total of 1,273 Iraqis were killed and 2,010 others were injured in terrorist attacks and violence in October in Iraq, according to a statement issued Saturday by the UN Assistance Mission for...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Sarah Hyland wants funny boyfriend
Sarah Hyland wants a boyfriend who can make her laugh. The 'Modern Family' actress, who recently secured a three-year restraining order against ex-boyfriend Matthew Prokop after claiming he abused her for four years...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kim and Kanye name new home after Downton Abbey property
Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian West have named their new home after the property from 'Downton Abbey'. The loved-up couple - who wed in Florence, Italy in May, and have one-year-old daughter North West together...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Nicki Minaj slammed for arriving six hours late for photoshoot
Nicki Minaj has been dubbed ''incredibly rude'' after turning up six hours late for a photoshoot. The 31-year-old rapper arrived at 2am to shoot photos for a future issue of Billboard magazine in New York, and has since...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Danny DeVito doesn't like One Direction, despite being in their video
Danny DeVito doesn't like One Direction, despite appearing in their video for 'Steal My Girl'. The pint-sized 'Matilda' actor featured in a clip for their new single which was unveiled last week, but explained that he...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Power outage across Bangladesh as national grid collapses
Dhaka, Nov 1 (IANS) Power outages Saturday hit several places in Bangladesh, including the capital Dhaka, due to the collapse of the national grid. Reports of power cuts were coming in from several other places...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Space plane crash: Sir Branson 'shocked' but to 'persevere'
New York, Nov 1 (IANS) Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, was "shocked and saddened" by the news of the Virgin Galactic passenger space plane crash but said that he would "persevere". The space plane...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Drugs to abet cancer cells suicide found
London, Nov 1 (IANS) British scientists have found a drug combination that can trigger the self-destruct process in lung cancer cells -- paving the way for new treatments. The combination of two drugs, called TRAIL...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Boko Haram leader says kidnapped girls married off
Lagos, Nov 1 (IANS) The leader of the Nigerian Boko Haram insurgents, Abubakar Shekau, has in a new video said the over 200 abducted schoolgirls have been married to members of the group. The video, released Friday,...
Read more on Politics Balla