Sun, 5 February 2012
Segment 1 (0:00 -23:02)
Segment 2 (23:03 -25:15)
Segment 3 (23:16 - )
Here is the article Erica referenced about Sailor Moon
Here is the webcomic Johanna mentioned.
You can follow us on Twitter. Erica is @Yuricon, Johanna is @johannadc, and I'm @edsizemore.
The Manga Out Loud logo is provided by Lissa Pattillo.
Regarding the "improved JManga pricing vision" ~ not necessarily an ideal vision, but the closest step from where they are to something that might well fly ~ I should say, "roughly 25pts~50pts". More specifically, for simplicity, it would involve replacing the long term per chapter purchase with a "rental" a chapter for, eg, 3 days. The rental price would be roughly 1/3 the volume price per chapter, rounded to the closest 5 points. So, a chapter of Poor Poor Lips, which is 3 chapters for a 499pt volume would be 55pts, a chapter of Moritasan Wa Mukuchi which is 4 chapters for a 499pt volume would be 40pts, and Girlfriends, which is 7 chapters for a 499pt volume, would be 25pts. A five chapter 499pt volume would be 35pts to rent a chapter and a six chapter 499pt volume would be 30 pts to rent a chapter. And, yes, persuading Japanese publishers to apply the full credit for the 3day rental to the volume purchase price flies in the face of long habits of "sell it twice" thinking ... but in overseas markets, "sell it once" is far more common, and from that perspective, this is moving the overseas market TOWARD the domestic market practice of "sell it twice". So while the hook in the argument is the analogy between rentals as similar to serials and permanent purchases as similar to tankobon ... the pivot in the argument is the difference between digital distribution and printing, that once the chapters in the collection are in the system, there is no need to bear the production costs of a PRINT RUN of a volume to generate the "second sale": it is only necessary to edit an entry in a customer database. This is, of course, far from aggressive pricing for this approach: if the psychology is that "a rental should be under half of a purchase", then 1/3 is just about the LEAST aggressive pricing for this approach. Indeed, if it was up to me, I'd say 1/5 instead of 1/3, so 3ch/vol=35pts, 4ch/vol=25pts, 5ch/vol=20pts, 6ch/vol = 7ch/vol = 15pts.
That's mushing together what I said they get, and the implementation I'd like to see. A phone book sized serial for less than $10 tells me that they get ~ and more probably from experience and habit than because of thinking it through up front ~ is "people will be more willing to sample if its cheap". The details of the system used to tap that will vary for different technologies. I think a low enough "read it once" or "three day rental" or whatever ~ say, 50pts ~ will encourage people to look on a "subscription" to JManga as an actual subscription, to a "roll-your-own monthly serial", with 20 chapters per month ... and if people get in that habit, then they'll buy volumes of their favorites by topping up their points. If the "read it once" or "three day rental" is cheap enough, then crediting the full price toward buying the permanent volume will be a small enough discount that it has more weight in the psychology of the subscriber than in the revenues ~ as well designed discounts often do.
There is a difference between "I won't pay anything" and "I won't pay collection prices for what I would read once in a serial in Japan" ~ for some reason, the Japanese get the "sell once read cheap to build an audience" when its on paper, but not when its digital. JManga's prices are fine if its the equivalent of a tankobon, but there should be a 25-50pt read once price for a chapter, which is credited against a future volume purchase.