DC Digital Comics Sales See Nearly 200 Percent Bump Compared To Last Year
How successful has DC’s New 52 relaunch been for its digital sales? According to new interviews with the publisher’s senior vice president of digital, the answer is “pretty damn successful,” with sales up almost 200 percent compared with the same period the year before.
Talking to both CNET and VentureBeat, Hank Kanalz revealed that digital sales rose 197% for the January-September period in 2012 compared with the same span in 2011. For some comparison, during the same time span, print sales rose 12 percent (It’s worth pointing out that there’s an important factor skewing those numbers somewhat: DC went day-and-date digital release in September 2011, meaning that the 2012 figures have an advantage that the 2011 figures don’t).
Of course, that’s a somewhat difficult to parse statistic considering that neither DC nor ComiXology have released actual sales figures for the digital releases; Kanalz told CNET that Justice League #12 was “the fastest to ever reach 10,000 books sold digitally,” although he didn’t reveal how long it had taken to reach that figure – it has, after all, been available for more than two months at this point.
Kanalz told VentureBeat that DC is also aware that price plays a part in just when people pick up the DC titles digitally. “We do see a list of sales when the prices (on older issues) drops, so it proves that people are cost cautious,” he said, adding that people “tell me they totally buy DC comics, but they wait a month when it’s a dollar off. I’m perfectly fine with that, because there’s still a huge chunk of people who can’t wait that month.” Overall, he believes, the dollar-off staggered pricing raises sales.
Talking about DC’s launch yesterday of its entire periodical line on Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble platforms, he said that it shouldn’t be considered a “move [away]” from ComiXology, but a sign that DC is expanding its digital reach overall. “My charter is to go as wide as possible, and to expand to as many readers as possible,” he said. “That’s what this is.” The backlist of books will be added to the new stores over time, Kanalz said, citing their absence at launch as a “bandwidth issue.”