According to an exclusive report from Comics Alliance, beginning in January 2012, Marvel Comics will include free digital download codes in every book from their “Ultimate” series.
Beginning with “Ultimate Spider-Man” #6, “Ultimate X-Men” #7, and “Ultimate Ultimates” #7, each comic will be polybagged to protect the code. Peter Phillips, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Marvel Digital, spoke with CA to explain more of the reasoning behind this bold move:
“First of all, we want to provide value to people who are reading the books. And this is basically free. You buy the print and it’s a value-add, and it’s a way for people to have the content the way they want it in multiple touch points. We’re big fans of believing that print and digital combined is going to widen the pie even further. Our research and evidence has shown this to be the case so far. So, that’s really the crux of it. Yes, we’re definitely introducing print comics readers to the digital part of our business, and we’re also doing the reverse, so that, again, everybody kinda realizes there’s a lot more ways to consume content.”
David Gabriel, Marvel Senior Vice President of Sales, had this to say about it:
“I think because it really has the most mass market-friendly stories to it, it has the best chance of reaching a wider audience, especially with the introduction of the new Miles Morales character. It’s been our top-selling line for about twelve years now. It’s all the movie-related properties, really, just set in the Ultimate universe. It’s not mired in 40, 50 years of continuity. So it really, you know, made the best starting point for us. I wish we had thought of this six orseven months ago and then started with the new number one issues. But instead, we’re starting with the first arcs of the new stories. I think it’ll help us reach a bigger audience that way.”
Some comic stores are boycotting any copies of comics with download codes, and the popularity of this campaign is still to be determined over the course of the next few months.