Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Free Digital Copies

Both DC and Marvel offer free digital copies of some of their books if you buy the physical copy. Indeed, I'm happy to say that Aquaman recently joined the list of titles I can get a digital copy of when I buy it.

For a long time, I ignored the option, but recently I went through every copy of every book I'd read and put in the codes to get the free online versions. In doing so, I noticed a big difference between the way DC does it and the way Marvel does it.

For a time, Marvel didn't actually give you the book you held in your hand. Instead, the free code was for other comics that they hoped the reader would get addicted to. That's all fine and dandy, but they eventually started to provide the book the code came from AND a promotional book. This is a great idea, in my opinion, because it will introduce some readers to other books. Getting the book you have online also means you are more likely to lend it out - which increases potential audiences.

DC, on the other hand, only gives you a digital copy of the book you own. And while that's lovely, I think Marvel's method is more likely to bear fruit in the future.

Another difference is that Marvel gives people who redeem a code "points" toward free stuff. For people as old as me, that's not so interesting. But for younger audiences, game-ifying the process makes the more likely to redeem the codes and read the promotional books. This, in turn, makes it more likely for them to read more books and get interested in more titles and ... well, there's a decent chance that this experiment will bear fruit in the long term.

I'm not a marketing person, but I know which version of the "free digital copies" appeals to me more - and it's not my favorite publisher's version.