For the week of 4/25/18, Saga was the top comic on Comixology and another Marvel digital trade paperback sale made it onto the Top 20 list… just not a 99¢ one.
|Comixology Rank||Issue||Previous Issue Print Sales Est.||Previous Issue Diamond Rank|
|1||Saga Issue #51||45,546||26|
|2||The Mighty Thor (2015-) Issue #706||93,082||6|
|3||Detective Comics (2016-) Issue #979||50,556||21|
|4||Darth Vader (2017-) Issue #15||52,372||18|
|5||Hunt For Wolverine (2018) Issue #1|
|6||The Flash (2016-) Issue #45||45,616||25|
|7||Injustice 2 (2017-) Issue #55||Digital First|
|8||The Terrifics (2018-) Issue #3||34,525||43|
|9||Avengers (2016-) Issue #690||44,596||28|
|11||Invincible Iron Man (2016-) Issue #599||31,717||50|
|12||Titans (2016-) Annual Issue #2|
|13||Wonder Woman (2016-) Issue #45||35,043||41|
|14||Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps (2016-) Issue #43||28,291||68|
|15||Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2016-) Issue #19||29,742||59|
|16||X-Men Blue (2017-) Issue #26||32,045||47|
|17||Teen Titans (2016-) Issue #19||27,289||73|
|18||All-New Wolverine (2015-) Issue #34||27,586||72|
|19||Exiles (2018-) Issue #2|
|20||Thanos (2016-) Annual Issue #1|
Seeing Saga at the top of the chart isn’t a shock. It’s pretty popular to begin with and the Image A-list titles do perform proportionally stronger in digital. Thor, likewise, is not a shock as the Jane Foster saga comes to an end — though we’ll have to see where the title’s next iteration settles. Then Detective and Darth Vader flip spots, which is also known to happen.
The Hunt for Wolverine pops in next. You really would’ve liked to have seen this a little higher on the chart if you’re Marvel. We all know the print edition will have numbers padded by variants and discount incentives, but the digital version is selling as though the print version was selling somewhere in the 46K-50K-ish range. Granted, the way Marvel’s been selling lately, that could still be considered a minor victory, but those aren’t return-to-glory numbers.
The Terrifics looks to be selling like roughly a 45K print book in digital. Let’s see what the print orders ended up being before we commit to it over-performing in digital. 3 issues in, the retailers might still be finding a level, but it seems like a positive sign.
And then a couple spots below that, things get really interesting. Avengers: Infinity War debuted and both Comixology had themselves a digital sale on related titles. One of those was Infinity Gauntlet for $3.99. That’s not 99¢, but it’s still a relatively deep discount. What kind of numbers did it move? Likely somewhere in the 3500-4500 range, based on the titles flanking it. Because the movie run-up had started in March, there were 2,095 orders for the current printing in the DM. The digital sales were likely greater than the _March_ print orders, but it’s premature to guess how many print tpbs shipped in April. Interesting, though.
As has been the case for the last couple months, we see a Bendis bounce as his Iron Man run wraps up. Hal Jordan and Doctor Aphra likely over-perform a little and then we’re left to contemplate if Teen Titans and All New Wolverine are over-performing. It’s a little hard to tell based on what else shipped and if they’re not, then Exiles isn’t in a great place and Thanos Annual is something you’d have expected to do quite a bit better.
Methodology and standard disclaimers:
The initial methodology is to compare the current issue on the Comixology top 20 chart (issues pulled the evening of 4/29) with the last issue we have print sales estimates for from the Comichron March chart, or from March 2017.
The conventional wisdom that’s been handed down over the last few years is that the digital audience has more of less the same reading habits as the Direct Market Print audience. I’ve had multiple publishers tell me that digital sales of new issues are roughly 10-15% of print sales and the titles more or less have the same proportional popularity in digital as in print. Maybe a couple titles switch places on the sales ranking list, but largely the same. The bestsellers on the newsstand were not always the same bestsellers as in the Direct Market, so it doesn’t seem like that should necessarily be the case with digital. There will be a little bit of mismatch because these are more weekly than monthly ranks and it isn’t clear exactly how Comixology defines the reporting periods, but if you look at comics sales, you learn to live with the data available.
Want to learn more about how comics publishing and digital comics work? Try Todd’s book, Economics of Digital Comics