Marvel Shortens Window Between Print and Digital Comics

Empyre Zero - Publicity - H 2020
Jim Cheung/Marvel Entertainment
New titles will appear on Marvel Unlimited three months after print release, instead of six.

Marvel Entertainment has announced that it is halving the wait time for fans choosing to read releases on its digital subscription Marvel Unlimited, with titles now appearing on the service just three months after print release. The change takes effect immediately.

Marvel Unlimited launched in 2007, and offers access to the publisher’s digital library of titles — currently numbering more than 27,000 issues — for either a monthly or annual subscription fee. The service is available as an iOS, Android and web app.

The move comes at a time when the previous six-month window had meant that Marvel Unlimited’s release schedule had coincided with the publisher’s temporary release suspension in April and May due to COVID. By cutting the six-month window to three months, the suspension is essentially avoided.

The announcement also follows DC’s announcement of its own DC Universe Infinite digital subscription service last month, which will see the existing DC Universe multimedia app transformed into a digital comic subscription service with releases appearing six months after print release.

“Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen our stories read tens of millions of times on Marvel Unlimited, and we’ve seen a rising number of fans now looking to dive into more of their favorite stories featuring Spider-Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, the X-Men, and more,” Jessica Malloy, Marvel New Media VP of marketing, said in a statement. “This expansion for Marvel Unlimited delivers exactly that: fans can now read more of their favorite comics sooner! No other service can provide this kind of value and access to so many Marvel comics in one place. We’re thrilled to now be able to offer even more to readers.”