Graphic Policy’s new piece numbercrunching DC Comics and Marvel Comics right now is, in many ways a response to Bleeding Cool coverage of DC Comics’s finances and the effects of those, last week. Though they don’t name or link to BC, they refer to a number of figures and statements that originated from our reports, saying,
First, as said above, their shortfall is a combination of things. If it is indeed $2 million, and the move was a part of it, the percent the move contributed is a key factor. If the move was over budget by $2 million, as an example, then the shortfall is not a big deal, and revenue for comic sales is indeed on target. Context and information is key here to make a proper assessment of the situation.
All very true. But, as our report stated, this shortfall was a combination of both the move and the relaunch, as reported to DC employees by their superiors.
They also pointed to DC Comics doing as well or better in the ComiXology digital charts than Marvel.
While I don’t have historical trends, DC Comics dominated comiXology’s sales last week for instance, taking 6 of the top ten slots. They also took 12 of the top 24 spots. Those are sales not reflected in the statistics the prognosticators and online chatterrotty go off of. In other words, sales are much better than people are giving credit.
This does, of course, not include the Marvel Unlimited all-you-can-eat subscription offer, nor sales made through the DC Comics or Marvel Comics apps – the latter of which is more popular on the Aple Store than the former. Also, according to the last ICV2 estimates, digital sales make up only around 12% of total sales, so impact here is reduced when compared to the larger data set. And rather than growing, I have been informed by a number of publishers, including DC Comcis, that their digital numbers have plateaued, flattened, not increasing. The increasing digital market, especially for ComiXology, has come from new entrants to the market, new language territories explored and new digital initiatives, rather than the existing print market converted to digital, or from new customers in the US market discovering digital comics afresh.
As they say,
In other words, one data set does not make a narrative, it makes a narrow world view, which then turns into gossip, hastily written obituaries, and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy due to negative perception.
And that would never do.
But more intriguingly, and this is where I think the real worth of the article comes, towards the end Graphic Policy numbercrunched social media support for DC Comics, as opposed to Marvel. And while finding more negativity towards DC hashtags than Marvel,
Like in July, today DC Comics’ “likes” still stands at 12 million individuals in the United States, no change there. The composition of that 12 million has though. 3.4 million of those are women, an increase of 100,000. 1.3 million of those are African-American, an increase of 100,000. Hispanics now stand at 2.8 million, that’s an increase of 400,000. All of those demographic sets have increased in the month and a half since last measured. There’s also other interesting data.
Those age 17 and under currently are 930,000 individuals, that’s a decrease of 270,000. But, out of that 930,000, women 17 and under are now 490,000. That’s right, women 17 and under are a MAJORITY of that age range segment.
While for Marvel,
During that same time period, Marvel’s “likes” decrease from 22 million to 18 million. The number of women who like their brand decreased to 3.5 million, a loss of 900,000. African-Americans now stand at 2.1 million, a decrease of 400,000. Hispanics now make up 3.9 million of the likes, down 200,000. Those 17 and under account for 990,000 individuals. That’s a decrease of 410,000. Men are the majority of them with 580,000.
So, girls like DC Comics more than boys – and there are more of them. And DC are maintaining their audience and diversifying it, while Marvel’s slips and becomes more insular. Which, for the long term has to be good news for DC and bad for Marvel.
Now, the argument is that a “like” on Facebook and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee. It’s turning that kind of support into sales that is the difficulty. And could be explained by weekly TV shows that show recognisable DC Comics characters such as Flash and Green Arrow, rather than Agent Coulson and Agent Carter, something that backs up an ex-beancounters’s take on the situation.
But as we pointed out yesterday, without Star Wars, when it comes to superhero comics, Marvel and DC are far closer to level pegging.
However it does show that DC You could be placed to succeed in the near future. If only the beancounters will let it. Which, as I understand from primary sources, they are still less inclined to do so.
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