Apple’s New Policies May be Behind the Delays to Dark Horse’s Digital Comics Programme


Last October at New York Comic Con, Dark Horse Comics announced that they would be developing their own platform for digital comics distribution, which they labeled as being “Industry-Changing”. They stated that they would launch this new initiative in January. However, a couple of days ago, with the end of January fast approaching, they announced that “factors beyond our control have impacted our plans and we are working to address these new developments.”

This was a pretty mysterious turn of events, and no-one at Dark Horse could be pressed for further information. Now though, an article on ICv2 may have shone a light on the matter. The article was prompted by the news that Apple had rejected a proposed iPhone App from Sony, which would have allowed users to purchase content from the Sony Reader Store, without giving them the chance to purchase the same material separately through the iTunes store.

Why this may affect Dark Horse is because their app was also set to offer users the chance to purchase comics directly through the Dark Horse App, without also offering them for sale through the iTunes store. It is thought that Dark Horse had planned to do this in order to avoid the 30% cut that Apple takes from all iTunes store purchases. Cutting costs in this way would enable Dark Horse to lower the cost of its digital comics offerings to $1.49 and to give a larger share of the proceeds to the creators.

Apple spokesperson Trudy Miller has been quoted by Digital Daily as stating: “We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is available to customers from within the app with an in-app purchase.”
This quote  seems to indicate that users won’t have to buy all content directly from the iTunes store, but that any content offered through an in-App system will also have to be offered through the iTunes store. While a bit of a pain in the butt, I guess that as long as users knew to purchase the comics through Dark Horse’s system, and not through the iTunes store, the system could work. This system seems to be working out for ComiXology, who offer their content through their Comics by ComiXology App, through their website, and through the iTunes store. Still, it might defeat the whole purpose of Dark Horse’s App, which is to offer comics at a cheaper price. Hopefully they will be able to figure this out soon. It seems like a shame that such an interesting idea could be blocked by Apple’s greedy policies!

Related posts:

  1. An Update on the Delays to Dark Horse Digital
  2. Dark Horse Comics Launches Industry-Changing Digital Comics Program
  3. Win Every Dark Horse Digital Title Contest!
  4. DC Comics Launches its Official Digital Comics Store!
  5. Dark Horses’ New Bettie Page Statue Premiers at Toy Fair!


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