Well, this is interesting: That free digital copy to be included in every print edition of Avenging Spider-Man #1? If it’s successful, it’ll be the start of a plan by Marvel to include a free digital download code in every $3.99 book, apparently:
Will these eventually be in all $3.99 books? We’d like to get there. Consumers are demanding more value for their purchase and we strongly feel that this will give them that extra added value.
Will I have the option to buy versions of the comic without the free digital copy? No, all copies of this issue, including variant covers, will contain the free digital copy codes. Marvel has a responsibility to our consumers and we’ll be promoting that all copies contain the digital codes. We don’t want to run into a situation where a customer goes into a retail shop to buy this book with the code and the retailer only has a different version of the product. That makes us all look bad. Also, it’s a confusing message to make if we were to say “only some of the copies will contain digital codes, so good luck finding the retailer that sells these…”
There’s a lot to unpack in the information Marvel has given to retailers about the Avenging Spider-Man pilot program (as made public by Bleeding Cool), including the direct email marketing that those who download the digital comics will apparently be agreeing to – Not only will Marvel be emailing them, the publisher will also be passing on the email addresses to the retailers that they bought the print copy from – and what retailers will be getting out of the deal (A 50 cent credit for those who download the digital version within six months of purchase, although the digital version will remain available for a year). It’s too early to say what impact this will have on print/digital sales, but it’ll be interesting to watch unfold. It feels like a good move, but I’m curious to see retailer reaction.