In a reprise of a similiar promotion at last year’s SXSW Interactive, Marvel is marking its appearance at the annual tech festival with an introductory offer of 99 cents for a month’s access to Marvel Unlimited, its e-comics subscription service, and more than 15,000 classic Marvel comics. The 99 cents promotion will last for a month after which subscribers will be billed at the usual rate of $9.99 per month.
The deal is reminiscent of a promotion in conjunction with digital vendor Comixology at last year’s SXSW that offered 700 comics for free digital downloads over two days and crashed the Comixology platform. This year the introductory promotion is offered through Marvel’s proprietary Marvel Unlimited service and not via Comixology. Marvel Unlimited offers online subscription access to thousands of Marvel digital comics in addition to providing discounts, collectible items and assorted swag and merchandise to subscribers. The 99 cents introductory offer also allows subscribers to download 12 digital comics for free.
Comixology is the dominant digital comics platform in the industry and powers the apps of both of the Big Two, Marvel and DC Comics. Some industry observers have also suggested that this year’s SXSW promotional is an effort by Marvel to bolster its own digital platform separately from Comixology. In addition, Marvel is also holding two panels at SXSW Interactive on March 8 and March 9 in Austin, Texas.