Diamond and iVerse Announce Diamond Digital Distribution System


Diamond Distribution and iVerse released a joint press release this morning, announcing that they will be collaborating on a Point of Sale digital comics distribution platform called Diamond Digital.

Now, you’re probably asking yourself why on Earth we need another distributor of digital comics, when it seems like there are already dozens out there to chose from. However, Diamond entering the digital arena should come as no real surprise. Diamond has dominated the physical comic distribution market for a couple of decades now, so it was inevitable that they would want a piece of the digital pie. I’m just surprised it took them this long!

Diamond Digital is actually quite a different beast from distributors like comiXology et al, in that it will utilize a unique point of sale platform, which will enable customers to buy digital comics at the cash register in their local comic shop. Through this system, Diamond will offer same-day digital editions of popular comics, to sell exclusively at comic shops for 30 days for about $1.99, with “Digital Plus” editions (digital copies available with the purchase of a hard copy) expected to sell for $.99.

I have to say that I’m not really sure how much of a call there is for such a system. I can’t ever imagine myself walking into my comic store, browsing the racks for titles I like, then going to the checkout and buying digital copies of them. I mean, you’ve already made the trip to the store, why not just pick up the physical copies? If I’m going to order a digital comic, I want to do it from the comfort of my own home.

I’m slightly interested in the “Digital Plus” concept, because I buy a lot of comics (100-150 a month), and it’s hard to find the time to sit down and read them all. It would be nice to be able to have the choice of reading the physical copy at home, or pulling it up on my iPhone at work etc. However, I very much doubt that I’d ever pay $0.99 for the privilege. It’s a nice idea though!

The most interesting aspect of this new system is that  it will allow comic shop retailers the ability to get a sliver of the digital pie. However, after Diamond, iVerse, the publisher, and the creators (they actually get the smallest slice!) , have been at said pie, I doubt there will be much left for the retailer other than crumbs (I’m really stretching this metaphor, aren’t I?). That being said, it’s it’s not like they’re exactly raking it in from selling physical copies of comics either!

The press release:

Diamond, iVerse Teaming Up to Offer Digital Content Via Comic Shops

Imagine a future where readers and fans can visit their local comic shop to buy not just physical copies of new comics, but also digital editions that aren’t available anywhere else, and can be viewed in multiple platforms including iPhone, iPad, web, and others.

That future is coming soon as Diamond Comic Distributors (DCD) – the world’s largest distributor of English-language comic books, graphic novels and related pop-culture merchandise – joins forces with iVerse Media – the pioneer of digital comics and creators of the popular ComicsPLUS reader – to empower 2,700+ brick and mortar comic shops to sell digital content.

Plans call for day-and-date digital editions to sell exclusively at comic shops for 30 days for about $1.99, with “Digital Plus” editions – digital copies available with the purchase of a hard copy – expected to sell for $.99.

Thanks to a simple but technologically robust code redemption system, retailers will need only an internet connection and a printer to participate. They will have no inventory risk or carrying costs and will retain a significant portion of each sale, with billing occurring on their regular DCD invoices. Retailers with websites will also be able to profitably sell a wide range of digital back issue comics and graphic novels.

Diamond Executive VP and COO Chuck Parker had this to say: “Digital comics are creating opportunities for publishers to grow the comic market. Our task, as we see it, has been to structure a program that empowers comic retailers to play a role in this growth and, at the same time, make money selling digital content. We think we’ve accomplished that with this initiative, and we look forward to feedback from retailers and publishers alike to help us succeed in this endeavor.”

iVerse CEO Michael Murphey added: “We are proud to be helping Diamond develop systems which will immediately enable comic shop retailers at any level of technical ability to easily sell digital comics. We are also very excited about the potential of this new venture to create many creative print-to-digital and digital-to-print promotional possibilities.”

Publishers already on-board with the program include: Ape Entertainment, Archie Comics, Aspen Comics, Bluewater Productions, Broadsword Comics, Hermes Press, IDW Publishing, Moonstone Comics, NBM Publishing, Papercutz, Red 5 Comics, Studio Foglio, Titan Books, TOKYOPOP, Top Cow Productions and Top Shelf Productions. Talks with other publishers are continuing, and the first comic shop digital editions are slated to debut in July, 2011.

“Direct Market retailers have always been IDW’s most important market and we’re very pleased to be working with Diamond and iVerse to include them in the digital distribution of our books,” said Ted Adams, CEO/Publisher IDW Publishing.

Dave Bowen, Director of DCD’s new Diamond Digital division, said: “We invite all publishers to join our effort, whether with all of their books or a portion of their line. All we ask is that they give comic shops a 30-day head-start on selling whatever digital content they chose to make available through the program.”

Bowen added that interested publishers are welcome to contact him ([email protected]) or Michael Murphey ([email protected]) for more information.

Further details with be forthcoming at the ComicsPRO Annual Meeting, being held February 10-12 in Dallas, and at Diamond’s Retailer Summit, to be held March 17-18 in Chicago, in conjunction with the C2E2 show.

Related posts:

  1. Diamond Distribution Announces the Winners of the 2009 Gem Awards
  2. Diamond Book Distributors Awarded Distribution Rights for TOKYOPOP in UK and Ireland
  3. Chizine Publications Sign with Diamond for US/UK Distribution
  4. A Look Inside the November 2009 Issue of Diamond Distribution’s Previews Magazine
  5. Diamond Distribution’s Top Small Press Comics & TPBs/OGNs for September 2009


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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mo ali, Comics Plus! and Comicator, Edward Kaye. Edward Kaye said: Diamond and iVerse Announce Diamond Digital Distribution System http://bit.ly/gVHKHg [...]

  2. [...] Earlier this week, Diamond Distribution announced that they would be entering the digital comics arena, with a new collaborative effort with iVerse, called Diamond Digital. To see the full press release, and my thoughts on it, please head here. [...]

  3. Diamond and iVerse Announce Diamond Digital Distribution System…

    [...]However, Diamond entering the digital arena should come as no real surprise. Diamond has dominated the physical comic distribution market for a couple of decades now, so it was inevitable that they would want a piece of the digital pie. …[...]…

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