Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 15, 2015

Bongo Slips Quietly Away From comiXology; App Imminent

This is one of the things that happened quietly, at least in terms of my vantage point as a listener: apparently Bongo has ended its relationship with the digital comics provider comiXology. Both Bongo and comiXology commented as if each letter in response to my query cost them $10 million. Chip Mosher of comiXology told CR, simply, "Bongo is no longer available on comiXology." Susan Grode a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, speaking on behalf of Bongo, said, "Thank you for your email. My client has no response regarding Comixology. Bongo has created the Simpsons Store app for its comics and trade books on iTunes, to be released shortly."

The fear with digital sites that offer an incomplete or favor a kind of access model to works as opposed to full ownership of digital copies as the primary arrangement has been when a company ends their relationship with the provider, people will no longer be able to access those comics. I am told that is not the outcome here, that people are still able to access the Bongo comics to which they paid access through the part of the comiXology interface that features that person's purchases and store of accessible comics. What they can't do is buy more comics (obviously), or get at the comics they do have through a more general search. I use the general search interface rather than one geared towards the comics I own, so I understand that mechanism.

I also think the reply from Susan Grode was interesting in that it pivoted to an iTunes app. While it seems we've been moving more and more towards having as many ways to access material as possible, it is certainly an option for publisher to move toward preferred alternatives, either directly or cross-category. No one really knows what they're doing yet, so none of this has been set in stone.
posted 12:15 am PST | Permalink

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