ICv2 has started its annual round of CEO chats and kicks off with IDW’s Ted Adams in three parts.. Adams is a good choice as IDW has made significant recent gains as the first new front-of-the-book publisher since exclusives were invented, and he doesn’t give you a lot of doublespeak when asked direct questions. A few excerpts:
On pricing (IDW has always been $3.99):
I think if you’re putting out great and compelling product, that $2.99 vs. $3.99 is kind of a moot point. The reality is that collecting comic books is an expensive hobby. It’s not a hobby you can do on a budget; it’s just not.
On digital sales (Last year Adams said it was 1% of their revenue:)
It’s still an insignificant part of our total net revenue. We are a print publisher. We’ve been aggressive in the digital space, [but] we can clearly say that it has not been cannibalizing our print sales because our print sales have been up substantially in the same period where our digital sales are up. I can tell you that at least from IDW’s perspective, the success that we’ve had with digital distribution has not cannibalized our print publishing revenue.
On transmedia and tie-ins (licensed books form the core of their sales):
We are from the standpoint that we’re doing prequels to Transformers 3. Like we did with for Star Trek Countdown and Transformers 2, our story lines will lead directly into Transformers 3, and our hope is we’ll have some of those transmedia things that happen with that. What we saw with iTunes for Star Trek Countdown and Transformers 2 is that there a lot of people out there interested in reading those comics at that time on their iPhone.
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.