Marvel Comics is giving out free digital comiXology download codes (did I mention they are free yet?), that will be polybagged with the first, second and third issues of their new “Avenging Spider-Man” series. This series, written by Zeb Wells and illustrated by the legendary Joe Madureira, follows Spider-Man as he works with the Avengers, with the first issue debuting on November 9. Marvel had announced plans to include a digital code in the first issue, but sold enough copies to merit expanding the promotion through the next two issues as well.
Marvel sent out a press release with the info:
“At New York Comic Con we heard from fans and retailers that this was the most exciting digital comics move of the year because of the added value it gives every copy of Avenging Spider-Man,” said David Gabriel, Marvel SVP of Sales. “Based on initial orders of over 100,000 units for the first issue-and the steady increase in orders since we’ve begun promotion on this plan-we knew that including a code for a free digital copy in future issues of Avenging Spider-Man not only excites our retailers, but incentivizes fans to come into stores for one of the year’s hottest new releases. It’s a win-win for everyone with no extra cost to readers and an increased revenue share for retailers.”
Marvel currently releases their comics online staggered from their physical release day, but this new campaign hopes to entice readers to turn to the dark side and start downloading comics. Granted, you will need to spend $3.99 first to get the paper-version of the issue that has the code, but the offer of free always comes with a cost. Will this clever marketing plan work, or just alienate fans and buyers further against it?