All Marvel Ultimates Titles Will Include A Digital Download Code Starting in January 2012

Marvel’s Ultimate Comics offers FREE digital copies in 2012!


UltimateComicsSpiderMan_6_CoverStarting in January 2012, Marvel Comics will include a free redeemable digital download code in all their Ultimate Comics titles. Marvel just recently started their free digital download program with the release of Avenging Spider-Man #1, which was also polybagged to protect the codes, which are printed on the inside back cover, from being stolen. The Ultimate Comics titles will also be polybagged for the same reason.

The program begins with Ultimate Spider-Man #6 in January, followed by Ultimate X-Men #7 and Ultimates #7 in February, and will continue with subsequent Issues.

UltimateComicsUltimates_7_CoverMarvel has been criticized lately for lowering the page count on some of their $3.99 titles as DC has tried to maintain a lower price point by offering many of their books at $2.99. Some Marvel fans feel that they’re not getting $3.99 worth of value for their money. DC has also offered digital downloads in a few of their titles, but for a dollar more.

In an interview at Newsarama, Marvel Senior VP of Sales David Gabriel stated that this was a way Marvel could add value to their higher priced books.

… it’s clear customers like not only having a physical copy of their purchases but also a digital copy to load on their mobile devices. We’re also always looking for a way to add value to our comics, especially those at the $3.99 price point and this seemed like a great option for everyone. Fans get more bang for their buck and don’t pay an extra cent.

UltimateComicsXMen_7_CoverSome fans may be confused by how Marvel is offering their digital comics. The redeemable code downloads will be available ONLY for Marvel’s Digital Comics Unlimited (MDCU) store on iOS, Android, and the Chrome web browser and NOT via ComiXology’s Marvel store.

In an interview with ComicsAlliance, Gabriel explains why Marvel chose the Ultimate Comics line and they timing of the program.

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 or seven 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.

Marvel is expected to make their second big announcement about their digital program later this week. Gabriel also stated that they are trying something “never before attempted.”

Once we get people interested in reading and interested and invigorated by the medium it’s really just a few steps for us to train those new readers about the direct market comic shops. As a matter of fact we are going to be testing this theory in the coming weeks with a special, never before attempted digital to print program

As we head into 2012, the push into the digital medium is picking up speed and it should be very interesting to see how digital affects not only the publishers’ bottom lines, but also the direct market shops that rely on print sales.

– The Comic Book Critic

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