For those who read the Marvel PR, it seems like it wasn’t clear.
But for those who read the Bleeding Cool report, it was very clear indeed. And they started.
Marvel is ditching the current “buy physical, get digital” offer, where readers who buy the physical comic get a digital version of that comic for free, in favor of getting two classic Marvel titles for free instead.
Or, three – I’m told the first week of titles will have three free digital comics. The same three free comics. And one of them is Second Civil War #0.
The reaction from fans, retailers and even a pro or two was swift.
But there are some on the other side.
Alright, maybe one.
The idea behind this new offer is that for the reader, they get more for their money, with three free digital titles, getting more than 4 issues for the price of one. It also changes weekly, encouraging people to return to retail stores to pick up the next batch, a clear way to get repeat foot traffic week after week. And helps promote commercial sales by offering the first chapter of a collection, usually the one that comes out at the same time.
However, this does reduce the offer for those who like a digital copy of the physical items they buy or sell the code to – $1 to $2 and get back part of the $3.99 or $4.99 price that they paid for the comic. For many, this made their comic book as cheap — or cheaper — than the $2.99 DC Comics line. This will no longer be the case, and the value of these digital codes should also drop.
That’s also probably what Marvel wanted – they didn’t like having their own digital sales undermined by the print comics…