After acquiring comics download platform Comixology last year, Amazon is again tightening its grasp on the digital comics industry. The retail giant announced a new deal last night with publisher Marvel that will allow Kindle owners to download single issues of the publisher's comics directly from Amazon's store. The deal makes more than 12,000 Marvel back issues — from Spider-Man to Star Wars — available on Kindle without requiring the use of the Comixology app.
New comics will come out on the Kindle Store on the same day
Marvel also has its own in-house digital distribution platform, the $9.99-a-month Marvel Unlimited, but it only allows readers to peruse comics released more than six months ago. Issues now sold through the Kindle Store will be available on the same day as they hit store shelves and the Comixology service. While the new deal brings Marvel's huge back catalog to Kindle owners, Comixology will continue to run both its apps and the Marvel Comics app for iOS and Android devices, as well as the Marvel Digital Comic Shop.
Comics have lagged behind music and movies in terms of digital distribution, but Amazon has seen serious success from its digital comic service across all platforms. The online retailer says its Comixology app was the both the number one grossing book app on iOS, and the highest grossing app in the Google Play Store's comics category in 2015, and this new move gives it even more opportunity to dominate a growing market.