While we have our BookScan numbers for sell through, and our Diamond estimates of sell-in in comics shops, we haven’t had reliable sell THROUGH numbers for what periodical comics actually sell to customer in stores. Retailers ave POS (point of sale) systems (although not all do) but aggregating them is a closely held industry secret.
But that may be changing. According to NPD Book Executive Director, Business Development Kristen McLean Bookscan is teaming with Diamond to start tracking more LCS sales:. In a report at ICv2 she says:
Kristen McLean: We are very excited about Comics and Graphic Novels here at NPD. In the coming year, NPD BookScan and the larger NPD Books Group is putting Comics and Graphic Novels at the center of a big initiative that includes projects like adding Local Comic Shop data to BookScan in partnership with Diamond Comics and the indie retailers, and developing a new License Reporting Service in BookScan that will allow many types of licenses and IP franchises including Comic franchises to be tracked and trended in BookScan for the first time.
This will mean that for the first time, someone who is interested in seeing how Batman is doing can look at the brand health of Batman across all publishers and books being sold in BookScan. Eventually, our vision will be to expand that view to include other entertainment categories like toys, gaming, and movies/home entertainment.
In addition, we’re interested in studying the consumer market for Comics and Graphic Novels for the first time. How are online buyers different from LCS buyers, and different from traditional bookstore Our goal is to create compelling new views and insights for our many clients including Publishers, Retailers, Toy Companies, and Industry Partners—insights and excitement that will continue to fuel the tremendous growth in this category.
NBD acquired BookScan – which tracks book sales at 70-80% of retail outlets – earlier this year from Nielsen. It looks like they have some big plans to add to their data offerings.
Unfortunately for us a the Beat, it also costs a small fortune to subscribe to Bookscan numbers, so these will only be available to the general public via leaks or philanthropy, but one way or another this will add a whole new level to sales chart and arguing and finally give the consumer some voice in what sells at comics shops!
McLean will be speaking about this in greater detail at the Icv2 NYCC Insider Sessions at NYCC on Thursday. Get your tickets and your popcorn now!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.