Digital comics are definitely heating up and ComiXology is the latest to make big changes. After years of relative stability (and complaints about an outdated interface) ComiXology has just announced some major updates, all slated to take place over the fall.
The news was announced in an email from CEO David Steinberger, which you can read below.
The good news is that the app will be updated with more robust filtering and navigation, something users have been asking for for a long time, and you’ll be able to read more free comics if you have a Prime or Kindle Unlimited account.
The bad news is that the existing Comixology site is going away, to be replaced by the Amazon storefront, which you can see right now. This is a major loss; as flawed as it is, the ComiXology site was tailored specifically to comics with previews and credits.
Many of the changes will requite users to integrate even more with Amazon, which some may be reluctant to do. You will now need to have an Amazon account to use ComiXology, and all purchases will go through the Amazon store.
This is a very major change to how ComiXology does business, and there’s sure to be a lot of outcry in 3…2…1…but also greater visibility for digital comics on Amazon as a whole as the graphic novel category becomes ever more prominent.
Amazon has acquired many companies over the years, and how they integrate with the main Amazon site on browsers varies. For instance, Audible is now mostly integrated with Amazon but still has its own branding and interface. Zappos, which sells shoes, still has its own freestanding website, although all the products are also available on Amazon.
ComiXology appears to be folding into Amazon in a much more complete way, as “Kindle Comics” on browsers, although the app will still be free standing.
And of course, there is ComiXology’s ongoing original comics program, such as the huge Scott Snyder deal announced only a few weeks ago.
It’s going to be a long day on the interwebs, as a friend just told me.
Here’s Steinberger’s letter.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m David Steinberger, co-founder and CEO of comiXology. It’s been a while since I personally wrote to comiXology customers, but it’s for a good reason: the comiXology team has been hard at work making important changes that you’ll start to see soon, and today I’m excited to share what’s coming.
First, though, I want to ask you to merge your comiXology and Amazon account so you can use these new services — in fact, once we update this fall, you’ll need to use an Amazon account to use comiXology at all. You can do so, here. Thanks!
In 2014, comiXology did what all great comic book heroes do: a major team-up. Teaming up with Amazon was the best way to support our mission — to make everyone on the planet a lifelong comics, graphic novel, or manga fan. Since then, we’ve been adding features like Guided View and comiXology Unlimited to Amazon and the Kindle app. We made our amazing comiXology Originals titles available free-to-read with a Prime Reading, Kindle Unlimited, or comiXology Unlimited membership. These additions have helped us reach more readers of comics, graphic novels, and manga than ever before.
This fall, we’re introducing an upgraded comiXology app along with a new way to shop for digital comics and manga on Amazon.com. Here are some of the changes you can expect:
- Our upgraded comiXology app will feature flexible filtering and sorting, and some fun book navigation features.
- A revamped digital comics shopping experience on Amazon where you’ll be able to browse, buy, and borrow books to read on either the comiXology or Kindle app. You can visit the new shopping experience today as we continue to bring new features online. ComiXology.com will redirect to this new experience when we launch.
- Faster, more reliable downloads on Android and iOS devices. Plus read-while-downloading is new for Android customers. (Yes, we’ve heard you!)
- Kindle Unlimited and Prime members will be able to borrow from a large library of graphic novels and manga on the comiXology app, in select countries.
- ComiXology purchases will be readable on Kindle apps and devices. Soon, you’ll also be able to read purchases from comiXology on the Kindle app, giving you more flexibility to decide where and how you read your books.
The team and I can’t wait to share more about our new features and exciting changes over the next couple of weeks.
Thanks for being a reader of and an advocate for this amazing art form. I’m truly grateful to work with such a passionate team of comic and manga lovers. I look forward to releasing our new app this fall and following up with great new features and improvements at a more rapid pace.
For those of you who haven’t enjoyed a comiXology Original title yet, read Kel McDonald and Tyler Crook’s The Stone King for free until 9/30/2021 as a token of our appreciation. I love this book!
All the best,
Co-founder and CEO of comiXology
GM Digital Comics, Amazon
PS: I wanted to share something pretty amazing: Stephen King’s new novel, Billy Summers, has not one but two mentions of @comixology in the story. That’s a nice feeling.