Marvel Chooses Stickers Over Polybags For Free Digital Downloads
Of late, Marvel has been giving away free digital downloads of their comics in certain select $3.99 titles. To keep the digital code for each copy secure, they have plybagged the comic, selling it in an opaque sealed plastic bag. This has caused some retailers difficulty - some report people are less likely to buy a copy unless they can flick through it first, and some find it tricky to stack them all on the comic shop shelves without the comics sliding off onto the floor.
So Marvel have thought again and have come up with another solution. A sticker on the final page before the back cover to cover up the code. So the reader, if they are interested, can quickly check if the digital code remains intact before purchase. Marvel have provided the mockup above to show how it will work.
The first comics to use this method in upcoming weeks will be;Avengers Assemble #1, Ultimates #7, #8,?* Ultimate X-Men #7, #8, #9, Avenging Spider-Man #4 and Ultimate Spider-Man #7
Hmm, I never minded opening a polybag, I always considered having the contents being still "near mint" or whatever grade as if it wasn't opened. Not sure how a sticker will be, guess I'll see when it arrives.
Consider the recent IDW G.I. Joe comic with the scratch-off area on the cover. How many of them were actually scratched off?
The real solution would be a barcode that gave access to digital content. Its a transparent device to generate extra sales. Its not about forcing readers to buy an extra copy. Its about exploiting a naive audience that will buy an extra copy to preserve the mint status of one copy. Its the kind of short term thinking that nearly killed the industry in the 90s and will drive the industry to a digital only future that only the publishers want.