UPDATED: Marvel Digital Exec Comments on UNLIMITED Release


Update, 3/10: With Marvel Unlimited now available on iOS devices, Newsarama talked with Peter Phillips, Marvel's senior vice president of digital media, about the new app, and dropping the old name of "Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited."

"The 'Digital Comics' piece is coming off because our future growth plans for this product potentially go beyond just digital comics," Phillips said. "For example, there are going to be member benefits, things like, you could get a discount in the Marvel store. There's going to be a whole lot more down the road."

Phillips said that despite the rise of the purchase-based Comixology-powered Marvel app that launched in 2010, the subscription-based service (which debuted in its original form in 2007) is still an important one to the publisher.

"The userbase of the Marvel Comics app is much larger," Phillips said. "I'm not going to try to hide that. That being said, the number of subscriber is still a solid number, and it's an important number, and those are some of our most loyal, important fans. There is some crossover between the two, but not as much as you might think. The two really work hand-in-hand."

Additionally, Phillips reported that Marvel is working on filling in any present gaps in storylines that are among the thousands of issues offered on Marvel Unlimited.

"We're doing gap fill-in," Phillips said. "A lot of historical series have issues that maybe we didn't digitize just because we have so many comics, so we've been going back and slowly trying to fill all those in for people."

Original story: Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited is now simply "Marvel Unlimited," and— following years of requests — available on iOS devices.

First introduced in 2007, Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited is an online service that provides thousands of streaming back issues for a monthly (or yearly) fee. Previously only available on browsers, Marvel Unlimited brings it to iPads and iPhones, and Gizmodo (who call it "Marvel's Spotify for Comics") reports that it'll be out on Android "soon."

"It's more of a borrow function, meant to be used in tandem with the Marvel app," said Marvel Digital SVP Peter Phillips in the Gizmodo article. Currently, six issues can be made available for offline reading.

The iOS app is a free download and features a resolution roughly as sharp as ComiXology's app, though without guided view and noticeably more sluggish when zooming in and out on a page. Marvel Unlimited was first beta tested on iOS devices late last year.

New releases on Marvel Unlimited include last year's Avengers vs. X-Men #1, issues of the current volume of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, early #20s issues of Rick Remender's Uncanny X-Force run, older titles and more. Gizmodo quotes Phillips as saying that most major titles "should be in there at six months; we're pretty timely with that."

Phillips also told Gizmodo that this is "Phase 1" of Marvel Unlimited, with a "fan club membership opportunity" to come in the future. With multiple announcements promised by Marvel for South by Southwest this Sunday, there are likely more digital comics announcements to come from the publisher. 

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