Whether or not you are in support of comics going digital, that's exactly where they are headed. In fact, most publishers are already releasing many of of their digital books the same day as the in store releases, with the exception of Marvel Comics. For a long time, you could only purchase your Marvel books long after their in store releases; and it also meant a subscription through the Marvel website. And while all that's well and good, consumers do like uniformity, and perhaps the publisher is finally feeling the pressure to release digital copies of their books on a more timely basis.
Back in October Marvel announced their first digital copy of Avenging Spider-Man #1 (in stores this week) when you purchased the comic book. If you purchased the hard copy of the comic book at your local comic shop, you would be able to access a free digital version of the comic through an access code. This promotion from Marvel must have done well, because following that announcement, Marvel revealed they would be offering Avenging Spider-Man #'s 1, 2 and 3 for free digital download with the in-store purchase of those books.== TEASER ==
If you thought it couldn't get better than this, well, you're wrong. Marvel revealed that their entire ULTIMATES line of comics would be available for free digital with the purchase of those books in store. That means that starting with ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #6 , ULTIMATE COMICS: ULTIMATES #7 and ULTIMATE COMICS: X-MEN #7 would all be polybagged and include a download code. Prior to this announcement, however, publishers spoke to retailers about this promotion and admitted that their opinions indeed shaped their decision, according to Marvel's Senior Vice President of Sales, David Gabriel.
We were working on putting the code on an inside flap on the back cover of the book. From talking with [retailers], we realized that was not the smartest way to go with this, certainly not for the first time out, and that's how the whole idea of just doing it within a polybag came about.
You can read the full story, including an interview with Marvel Vice President of Sales David Gabriel and Senior Vice President and General Manager, Marvel Digital Media Group Peter Phillips, here. What do you think of Marvel's ULTIMATE line going digital? How do you think it will affect retailers?