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Post Reply JManga Launches 8/17!!
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53 / M / Northeast Ohio, USA
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Posted 8/21/11

Zhiroc wrote:

I'll add my voice to those who are saying that the cost structure is completely whacked.

A CR sub costs $60/yr and I get unlimited views (and am following about 10 simuls atm).
Though when the license expires, access expires.


The JManga sub costs $120/yr, and I only get to "buy" (which is a complete misnomer) about 13 volumes? Even when a physical volume is about 1/3 the cost of a DVD, and probably a lot of that in printing costs?


A lot of the costs depend on numbers sold ~ the translation and layout costs for the titles that are not available in print is going to be a fair chunk of change. ...


And the idea that I'm not "buying" but rather getting a perpetual license is VERY worrisome for a new service like this. If it goes belly up, bye-bye content.
This is the key thing: when they are not selling the same level of ownership as a print or ebook edition, it should not sell at the same price as a print or ebook.

I'd say they could charge 1/2 the print price for a permanent access, and about 1/10 the full access price for a limited access ~ say, one week, two times through.

Then if the "full print price" is roughly 900 points, that would be 450 points to "own" a license, and maybe 50 points to "rent". Then someone could "rent" about 20 titles a month, and if they started collecting a collecting one monthly manga or three quarterly manga could still "rent" 11 more.
Zhiroc 
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Posted 8/21/11

agila61 wrote:

I'd say they could charge 1/2 the print price for a permanent access, and about 1/10 the full access price for a limited access ~ say, one week, two times through.

Then if the "full print price" is roughly 900 points, that would be 450 points to "own" a license, and maybe 50 points to "rent". Then someone could "rent" about 20 titles a month, and if they started collecting a collecting one monthly manga or three quarterly manga could still "rent" 11 more.


Personally, half wouldn't cut it for me. I'm not even sure there is a price premium I would pay over some "rental" base for access that requires the company to exist and for my account to remain in good standing. I think I'd need a download and an offline viewer to feel that I have any sense of "ownership" of the product.

Even explicit rental is a bit problematic. Instead of just being able to "take it or leave it", like I do with CR anime, I'd have to decide if something was "worth it". I'm pretty sure that if I had any specific costs tied to the 10 or so anime series I'm currently following, I'd probably drop half of them.
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M / Northeast
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Posted 8/21/11
The price is way too high. I just signed up for a free account, and it looks like I have to pay just to pay in order to pay. What the ..you have to pay in order to pay. What the ..???

one dollar equals 100 points
29 pages equals one chapter equals 200 points

Two dollars for 29 pages? Really? For a digital copy? That I don't actually own but perpetually rent?

Terrible. I was really looking forward to a great service that allowed you to read comic books for series at some kind of yearly rate, just like crunchyroll, but all I got was this superexpensive rental service. The entertainment value is really low, considering it's cheaper to rent a movie that lasts for an hour and a half than it is for 29 pages.

Zhiroc 
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Posted 8/21/11
I've just been thinking some more about costs and pricing, and you know, we as consumers have been somewhat spoiled. Between ad-supported services, and illegal downloads, we've pretty much set expectations with the viewing public that viewing should be almost free.

And even when there is a cost, take CR, for example. I pay, effectively, $5/month. Currently, I'm watching around 10 series, so let's say that's 40 episodes/month (and I'm not even counting any back-catalog viewing). Do the math, that's $0.125 per episode.

So, in my head, whether it is reasonable or not, when I think of manga, I immediately compare the cost of production between the anime and it, and while I don't know the exact figures, I'll pick a number out of the air, like 10, and say it's that much cheaper to make, so that's as much as I'm willing to spend.

It may not be fair, but then again, "fair" isn't a large part of capitalism It's up to the sellers of a product to convince me that the value their product has is worth the price they are charging. And given the price point that exists for anime, it won't be easy to charge me more than that, or even that.
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101 / M / San Francisco, Ca...
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Posted 8/21/11 , edited 8/21/11
Positive comment about the site:

* High quality manga scans. Very high quality.
* Translation is pretty good.
* Contains many titles which have not yet been picked up by north american publishers. You can find them here.

Now for the negative:

* This is pretty cool. Unfortunately the only complaint I can give is it does not work on an iPad or iPhone as it requires javascript and flash in order to work so for now only a PC or laptop can work.

* The prices are comparative to actually buying a printed book -- roughly around 899 points per tankobon volume although you can pay per chapter too. It does feature many books which does not have a north american publisher so you can read them first on the site. IMHO this is a new venture and maybe they are still trying to decide what price they can charge so people will bite. IMHO tho since it is a digital manga, the cost should be a bit lower (maybe $5-6 bucks per volume) since you don't have to worry about logistics -- such as actually stocking a physical book and inventory space as everything is pure profits.

* Prices are a bit on the high side atm with each tankobon costing around 899 points (roughly US$9 bucks), the same price as a printed volume.
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53 / M / Northeast Ohio, USA
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Posted 8/21/11

Zhiroc wrote: Even explicit rental is a bit problematic. Instead of just being able to "take it or leave it", like I do with CR anime, I'd have to decide if something was "worth it". I'm pretty sure that if I had any specific costs tied to the 10 or so anime series I'm currently following, I'd probably drop half of them.
Though the only "cost" would be less points accumulating in your account out of the 1,000 you get per month.

The Crunchyroll "all you can eat" model works because Crunchyroll gets the license to stream the series, and the license agreement sets out how much they have to give up front and per view, and then its up to Crunchyroll to make enough money to cover their costs, including subtitling.

JManga is 29 different publishers getting together to hire Crunchyroll to put together a platform. The only way it can work is each publisher sets their own price. Any "all you can eat" deal would have to be offered by a single publisher over the titles of a single publisher.

A manga serial in Japan is around 200pp and costs somewhere around $6. If a chapter is 20pp~30pp, that is 6 to 10 chapters worth, or about 60pts to 100pts per chapter ~ a little bit more if you are skipping some of the series.

At 50pts for one week's access to a volume, 25pts for one week's access to a chapter, that's 20 volumes or 40 chapters a month.

As far as whether everyone would pay the "indefinite access" license ... well, not everyone buys manga volumes in Japan, either. Some people just read the serials. But I think that half the print/ebook price is a lot more likely to get some takers than trying to charge full price. At that price, you are mostly going to get a small number of serious fans, paying for access to specific titles not otherwise licensed in North America.

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Posted 8/22/11
It's quite easy to get a card...

Anyways - the site seems promising, and I'll be more interested once they have more to offer.
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19 / M / Anime World
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Posted 8/22/11
I wish i logged on to the site but it has a geographic area restriction,How sad
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21 / F / TankRank, on Eart...
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Posted 8/23/11
YEI!!! THANK YOU for the info, shinji!!!
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53 / M / Northeast Ohio, USA
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Posted 8/23/11

deatherz007 wrote: I wish i logged on to the site but it has a geographic area restriction,How sad
Is it safe to assume that you're not really at San Francisco, California?

They say they hope to expand the regions (I read an interview by Deb Aoki at About.come). How quickly, I dunno.

With the publishers insisting on starting with unrealistic prices, they probably have to switch to a more workable pricing structure before they start expanding the regions.
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27 / M / New York
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Posted 8/23/11

With the publishers insisting on starting with unrealistic prices, they probably have to switch to a more workable pricing structure before they start expanding the regions.


All in due time I guess. Unfortunately though, it's a slow go with publishers who don't understand the digital market and/or are too greedy to give in.
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53 / M / Northeast Ohio, USA
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Posted 8/24/11

Blad3101 wrote:


With the publishers insisting on starting with unrealistic prices, they probably have to switch to a more workable pricing structure before they start expanding the regions.


All in due time I guess. Unfortunately though, it's a slow go with publishers who don't understand the digital market and/or are too greedy to give in. :blink:
Fortunately its a printer who seems to be the principle of the company, and they want to establish a successful company, since after all bring a printer is not much of a growth industry.

Hopefully they can take feedback from people on the site to convince the publishers to give a deal at least closer to what Japanese buyers of manga serials expect.

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Posted 8/24/11 , edited 8/24/11
If they were so die hard about selling at paper book prices they should have sold the paper book versions and attached a digital copy for free.

It's about the only way I can see digital distribution ever working when the prices are the same.

It's pretty damned insulting to price digital copies with strict drm at the same price as a physical copy.
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Posted 8/24/11
They've commented on the pricing model on their facebook-page:
http://www.facebook.com/jmanga.official/posts/159663564114337

Jason Acord: When will you be updating the insane pricing and subscription model? :P
JManga: Rest assured, we're working on it. Some things take a little longer to work
on than others, so we ask for your patience in this regard. Thanks!

And now, we wait
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26 / M / Colorado, USA
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Posted 8/24/11

uberkakis wrote:

They've commented on the pricing model on their facebook-page:
http://www.facebook.com/jmanga.official/posts/159663564114337

Jason Acord: When will you be updating the insane pricing and subscription model? :P
JManga: Rest assured, we're working on it. Some things take a little longer to work
on than others, so we ask for your patience in this regard. Thanks!

And now, we wait


Thanks for bringing this news. That may not say much, but it's still something. Sounds like they understand at least that price is the most widespread complaint. I am very curious as to what their next move will be however. Simply cutting the prices in half might not be enough for me to join in, as even that is still mathematically more than I'm paying for anime, and I'm a very poor person. But even that much would bring their site more success, which I do hope for.
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