Last time, I discussed the recent decision by Marvel to change their policy regarding Digital Code redemption. They’re stopping the inclusion of a code that gives you a digital download of the same comic to an issue from an upcoming trade or other kind of collection. My best guess is that this is to promote sales of those books.
An interesting change has happened at DC regarding this same concern. I also found out more information I wasn’t aware of regarding digital code redemption, which I want to briefly talk about as well.
SELLING OR TRADING DIGITAL CODES
I don’t know anyone doing this, but I’ve come to understand that some people actually sell or give away the digital codes they’ve obtained in Marvel comics. It happens person-to-person or on sites like eBay. They usually go for $1 to $2 each.
I guess the good part about this practice is that it gives people who may not have bought the issues the ability to download and read them, and it defrays the cost of the book when they get the money through the sale. Perhaps they’re able to buy more comics this way, or hopefully pay off a bill or two!
When I found out about this, it actually made Marvel’s change a little more understandable. If a decent number of folks are selling these codes, maybe it’s a better idea to use them to promote other books on the way?
DC PICKS UP THE DIGITAL CODE GAUNTLET
It wasn’t but a week or two after Marvel’s announcement came out that DC apparently took over the sale of digital codes included with their issues. It was part of their recent announcement that their monthly comics (not the bi-weekly ones) will all go up in price from $2.99 to $3.99. The digital codes, which will be for the same comics you buy, are going to be included, hopefully adding more value to your purchase.
Here’s part of the news release, now available at DCComics.com:
“Starting in April, select DC monthly series will see a price increase from $2.99 to $3.99. These books will now include access to a digital copy of the book on readdcentertainment.com via digital code so fans can access their favorite stories in print and digital form anytime, anywhere. In addition, Rebirth titles current priced at $3.99 and up will also receive the digital code.”
In that same release, John Cunningham, SVP of Sales & Trade Marketing, said: “Giving readers value was a key component of our Rebirth initiative, and we’re continuing that commitment with this move. We’ve heard from many fans that they like to read and collect our books in both digital and print formats so this new offering gives DC readers the convenience and value pricing they asked for.”
The timing is really interesting, as I previously mentioned. Coming on the heels of Marvel’s change, it almost looks as if DC has decided that the House of Ideas had a good thing going and want in on it.
Of course, nothing lasts forever, so we’ll see how long DC continues this change in their digital code offerings. I expect it will last for at least a year or two.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOU?
What matters to us, the readers, is which books will be involved. I’m sure not everyone buys every title, but that extra dollar each month over several books can add up!
Here’s the last quote from that release, which includes the comics involved: “DC titles that will reflect the new pricing or digital codes starting in April include ALL STAR BATMAN, BATGIRL, BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY, BATMAN BEYOND, BATWOMAN, BLUE BEETLE, CYBORG, THE HELLBLAZER, NEW SUPER-MAN, RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS, SUPER SONS, SUPERGIRL, SUPERWOMAN, TEEN TITANS, TITANS, TRINITY. All of DC’s twice monthly Rebirth titles will remain at $2.99.”
The interesting book in that list, at least to me, is All Star Batman, written by Scott Snyder and a rotating group of artists. Instead of going up, the cost of this book is going down. It’s cost $4.99 when I’ve purchased it in the past. I’m liking the reduction in cost here!
But the others, well, I’m not sure they’ll survive this cost increase. Some of them at $2.99 are okay buys for me, but add that extra dollar, and I’m likely to cut back on several.
I’ve already cut The Hellblazer and Batman Beyond out, but Batgirl, Red Hood and the Outlaws and Trinity are on double-secret probation with me. When the cost change hits, even the additional digital code likely won’t be enough to keep me. When you add to that the new books that haven’t hit the stands yet, such as Batwoman and Super Sons, which I’ll give a few issues to get me hooked on, my budget is starting to feel the heat.
WILL DC’S DIGITAL CODE EXPERIENCE RESEMBLE MARVEL’S?
Marvel’s collectability is much more of an attraction than DC’s, seems to me. And I’m not at all sure that the number of folks interested in redeeming digital codes will make this worthwhile for either company.
Still, I’m all for seeing where digital comics go in the months ahead, and maybe DC thinks Marvel was on to something smart before they changed policies.
I’m still convinced that paper copies will rule the industry, but just how far digital comics will go in the future is something no one knows. I like to read them. Hey, they keep my paper copies safe and undamaged, for one thing. But I still want the paper copies for the ones I want to keep forever!
That said, I’m not sure DC’s decision will make their upgraded prices worth the handing out of hard-earned shekels. It’s not big enough of a benefit to make me hang on to most titles hanging on by a thread in my monthly comics experience.
What about you? Will DC’s new digital code policy make $3.99 books more appealing? Do you like digital codes, do they make you buy comics if the cost increases? Please be sure to share your thoughts in the space below!