Hastily Drawn Thoughts on the New Comixology

The internet nerd rage machine is in full force again. This time their panties are all in a twist over the removal of in-app purchases from the Comixology app. I don't understand why anyone is surprised.

First let's consider the financial aspect of this change. Apple takes 30% of all in-app purchase sales. Call it an "Apple tax" if you will, but Amazon and Google don't put stuff on their store free of charge either. If you were Amazon and you had their infrastructure wouldn't you use it to avoid giving free money to a competitor? And let's not forget as a publicly traded company Amazon is legally obligated to maximize their profits (even if they don't generally do a very good job of it). That 30% is not insignificant.

Consider also, at least on iOS, there are limits to the amount of items you're allowed to make available for in-app purchase in a single app. Yes, it's something like 10,000. But this is a limit I suspect even Comixology, had it not been acquired, would have eventually run into themselves. It's also been my long-held opinion that Amazon's other apps (Kindle and the Amazon app itself) were "crippled" for the same reason. It's not just about the 30% and I think anyone who argues otherwise is being disingenuous. If Apple allowed infinite in-app purchase SKUs we might not be having this "conversation1".

Is this change inconvenient? Yes. Is this going to ruin the digital comics industry? I sincerely doubt it. Most consumers don't care about this shit and will continue buying their comics. It'll just take a few more steps. Is Amazon just being a big greedy company that's out to get all the monies for themselves? Possibly. But that's the nature of big business. Apple isn't suing Samsung just because they didn't have anything better to do2.

Now can we please go back to being outraged about something that actually matters: Condoleezza Rice joining the board of Dropbox.

  1. But then again, we might. Much like the number of licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know. 

  2. Yes, I realize there's more going on there than just money. Calm down it's only an example.  

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