Marvel’s Digital Comics “Unlimited” is a Step in the Right Direction, But Not Quite Enough

For those who are living under a rock and/or haven’t been paying much attention to comics news lately, Marvel launched their Digital Comics “Unlimited” service today, offering unlimited access to Marvel’s back-library for $9.99 per month or $59.88 per year.

This is definitely a step in the right direction for Marvel, but the journey’s not over. $59.88 for a year of unlimited comics is a damn good price tag and I’d gladly pay it, if not for a few things. First, you have to view these comics in Marvel’s proprietary program, in your browser; you can’t download these comics and you don’t actually own the issues. Second, you can’t read any comics until they’re at least six months old.

Both of these things put Marvel’s system at a disadvantage against the pirating system in place on torrent sites and whatnot. If I was so inclined, I could download just about any comic I want, a few days after it is released, absolutely free, and have several choices in how I view it. Not only am I saving money, I’m getting a superior product, compared to Marvel’s digital system.

When the publishers offer a system to buy digital comics, on their release date, preferably for a lower price than print copies, I will be among the first to sign up and I imagine there will be thousands – at least – right behind me, earning the publishers quite a bit of profit. Until that day, they’ll all be at a disadvantage, except in the collector’s market.

Don’t get me wrong, though. This is definitely a step in the right direction and I’m sure there will be plenty of subscribers. I just hope Marvel can keep going down this path and that others will follow their lead.]

About Dustin Christian

In the words of his Government/Economics teacher at Mission High School in Mission, TX (Hi, Mr. Klingensmith!), Dustin is a mystery wrapped in an enigma packaged in an annoying little shit with delusions of grandeur. Which really sums Dustin up quite nicely. Dustin is also known as a father of 5, a geek, a word nerd, a growth hacker, and a content marketing ninja.
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4 Responses to Marvel’s Digital Comics “Unlimited” is a Step in the Right Direction, But Not Quite Enough

  1. WES says:

    A step in the right direction, but like the record companies, too little, too late & for too much.
    Why would I pay Marvel $60 a year to read their backstock on a screen when I already have access to it all for free & can download it, too? The only way… the ONLY way that I’d pay any for any comic or mp3 online is if I knew that money was going directly to the artists involved. That is the just & right & ethical thing to do.
    In fact, knowing that anything I’d pay Marvel is probably NOT going to anyone other but themselves just makes me want to bypass their outdated efforts all the more. When I can d/l the complete HOWARD THE DUCK & know that Steve Gerber is getting his fair cut out of it, then come talk to me.

  2. CrackerBob says:

    I totally agree, for the most part. I would pay for downloading digital comics, just because it would be the right thing to do. I would prefer more of my money – actually MOST of my money – go to the artists, but I’m not sure that NONE of my money going to the artists, just to make sure none goes to the publisher, is the right way to go.

    That said, I prefer digital comics. The main reason, as I think the main reason for you, is for storage space. There is just no feasible way for me to store all of the comics that I like to read and throwing them away is flat out ridiculous. I’ll admit that there’s also an economic reason to it – I love to give pretty much any comic a try, but if I bought a copy of every comic I tried, I’d have alot of crappy comics laying around and I’d be flat-ass broke.

    But if the publishers offered cheaper, digital copies of comics for download, I’d pay for them. At the moment, they don’t offer them at all and are losing out on ALOT of money, because I don’t see myself subscribing to their current model of digital business.

  3. Angilix says:

    Marvel has the right idea. . .almost. Young people are reading less comics. What Marvel has to do is create new consumers. They shoudl provide access to their digitalized backlog for free this will create an interest eventually those new readers will want to be update on the latest issue(s) nad will start buying them

  4. CrackerBob says:

    You know, I’ve been messing with their free samples – the interface is so unwieldy that, frankly, I wouldn’t use it even for free.

    Offer downloads that I own, that I can view with the CBR program or another reader of my choice, and you have far more of my paying business. Anything else will likely be get my acknowledgment for the effort, but not my money.

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