Marvel and Amazon Reach Deal for Digital Distribution

While the comics print market surges, one of the biggest factors in the growth of the industry is digital comic book sales. Although exact numbers are still a tightly-kept industry secret, what’s plain is that the comic book publishers are making huge gains in the digital marketplace and continue to look for new avenues to deliver their product.

The latest development is an arrangement between Disney-owned Marvel Comics and Amazon to offer a back-issue catalogue of 12,000 titles to Kindle users. Amazon already owns and operated the wildly successful ComiXology platform after acquiring it last year, and now looks to deepen its comic book offerings with this latest deal.

Amazon has reported that ComiXology was its highest-grossing app in the 2015, according to the Verge, and this latest move is a clear indication that the online retailer sees a good amount of room for growth in digital comic book sales.

The newest partnership with Amazon now gives Marvel three different outlets for digital comic book distribution, including the aforementioned ComiXology app and its in-house Marvel Unlimited service. Where Marvel Unlimited a subscription service akin to Netflix, offering a huge library of back issues for a monthly fee, the new Amazon deal is a per-issue platform which will allow users to purchase digital copies of individual issues.

The real coup for digital distribution is the ability of publishers to expand their audiences beyond the faithful “Wednesday Warriors” of comic book shop around the country. In a press release today, Marvel Executive Vice President of Interactive and Digital Distribution pointed to the continued focus on audience expansion, saying that “After Amazon’s acquisition of comiXology in April of 2014, we collectively saw a great opportunity to expand our relationship and create more ways for fans to access Marvel’s vast library of characters as well as leverage comiXology’s technology, together with Amazon’s incredible consumer focus and reach.”

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Josh Epstein

Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. He’s a lifelong comic nerd, and “Superman” is the first word he ever read aloud. He is also an actor, singer, and resident of a real-world Smallville.

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