Today, Yen Press announced via their Twitter that Yotsuba& will now be available for purchase on the iPad through their downloadable app. While the app itself is free, and looks to have a clean and modern interface, allowing users to peruse the titles they would like to purchase and view the titles they already own.
The downside? Yen Press simply doesn't seem to understand how to sell a digital copy of print material. Each volume costs $8.99, much like they would in a Barnes & Noble or the like. The music industry has often made this mistake, charging roughly the same amount for digital copies as they do for physical ones, and you know what that has resulted in? Extensive piracy that cripples the industry. From Napster to BitTorrent, we've seen it time and again. Why? Truth is, as much as you like that digital copy, we sort of subconsciously know that it shouldn't be worth as much as physical copy that you can hold in your hands, that you can keep forever. A copy that can't simply be lost when your computer finally craps out.
If Yen Press were to, let's say, knock the price down to about $6 a volume, or heck, even make a better deal by bundling multiple volumes, they might have something. But let's put it this way: I don't find that manga has an incredibly huge re-read value. Why would I pay nearly $9 for something I'm likely going to read once? That's the reason I don't buy manga currently! I can't afford that much per volume, especially when so many volumes exist! Though I do admit that I would really like to try manga on the iPad, I suppose I'll need to find someone to subsidize that habit until I can get that first real post-graduate job. (And no, I'm not talking about Wal-Mart.)
But hey, if you can afford it, more power to you! Have you ever bought any digital manga? Do you like it? Do you plan on buying Yotsuba&?
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