Comics Run: Free Issue Offer Chokes Comixology Service
And you thought all of the geeks were preoccupied with SXSW this week? It turns out many of them descended on the digital comics app and online service Comixology to take advantage of the 700 free comics issues Marvel and the digital distributor put up for grabs on Monday. The traffic from one of the highest-grossing apps across platforms brought the servers to their knees, making the service inaccessible for part of the day and forcing Comixology to suspend the free issues offer temporarily.
Writing on the company blog, Comixology CEO David Steinberger said: “We expected a high degree of excitement for the Marvel initiative -- and had believed ourselves prepared -- but unfortunately we became overwhelmed by the immense response. We’re still struggling to keep our systems up.”
As of this morning, the Comixology store generally was back in service on the apps, but the Marvel offer remained suspended. In tandem with the SXSW Festival, Marvel was offering 700 first issues of its many series past and present for free.
Comixology runs its own digital comics newsstand across Web and device platforms that aggregates over 70 publishers. It also provides the white-label engine for leading comics publishers, including Marvel, DC and IDW. The Marvel promotion was inaccessible on that publisher’s app this morning as well.
Digital comics have been one of the breakaway success stories of the tablet platform in recent years. Among the iPad's highest-grossing apps, Comixology is ranked #30. The only non-gaming apps that generate more revenue from the iPad are NYTimes and Intuit’s TurboTax.