As has been pointed out, it’s probably a little better to compare Comixology’s weekly sales ranks with the Diamond sales estimates for print. While looking at the previous week’s Comixology ranking vs. the previous month’s Diamond numbers can give us an idea of the immediate market and interesting trends in new titles (without the variant covers involved), it’s ultimately better to compare the weekly estimates with the same month’s sales estimates… it just takes a little longer to be able to do that.
With that in mind, here is Comixology’s Top 20 comics for the week of January 17th (measured on 1/21) compared with the January sales estimates for print.
Standard disclaimers apply: it’s not 100% clear what time period Comixology’s top sellers list covers, but it changes over weekly and reflects the new releases. It’s not exactly the same as monthly sales, but it’s the measurement we have available to us. One of the things that’s important to look at is whether the digital audience has slightly different buying habits than the print (Direct Market) audience. When Comixology launched, the sales ranks were thought to be largely the same and many publishers have said that digital sales are 10-15% of print. But is that still the case?
|Comixology Rank||Issue||Previous Issue Print Sales Est.||Previous Issue Diamond Rank|
|2||Super Sons #12||35,068||50|
|3||The Mighty Thor #703||42,116||32|
|5||Justice League #37||45,313||26|
|6||Star Wars #42||53,710||12|
|7||Injustice 2 #41||Digital First||Digital First|
|10||X-Men Gold #20||36,471||47|
|12||Doctor Strange #384||25,652||85|
|15||Green Lanterns #39||25,551||86|
|16||All-New Wolverine #29||25,330||88|
|18||Kill or Be Killed #15||16,545||126|
|19||Amazing Spider-Man Venom, Inc. Omega #1 – Venom, Inc. Alpha #1||63,322||8|
|20||Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #299||28,512||72|
Here we see Batman as the top seller for the week, which should surprise no one.
Super Sons at #2 for the week has that title leap frogging some better sellers in print. The Mighty Thor is also higher than you’d expect if you were going by print sales. There is a long standing theory that YA titles and with female leads do proportionally better in digital, so perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising.
The question is whether Star Wars is proportionally less popular in digital, benefits strongly from variants in print or Superman and Justice League are stronger sellers in digital. Superman and Justice League had similar sales number in print for January, so those two flopping places in the order isn’t necessarily that odd, but being above Star Wars might be.
In a similar question, one wonders if Nightwing is seriously over-performing in digital or X-Men Gold is selling less.
Our next significant eye-brow raiser is Damage #1. Retailer orders on a new character will involve a certain amount of guesswork and Damage sold smack dab in the middle of a block of mid-25K titles. Now, maybe the print audience was more interested in it or maybe we’re going to see significantly lower print orders for #2 after retailers adjust. It’s still a bit early to tell, but that doesn’t have to look of a promising launch on the digital side.
And from here on down, the list gets interesting. Champions, with a cast of YA heroes is selling a bit better in digital than you might expect. Kill or Be Killed appears to be over-performing. In the same-week estimates, we’ve been seeing the Image A-list performing at a higher percentage of print sales than the rank and file at DC and Marvel. That seems to be the case here and we’ll likely see more of that.
Venom, Inc. Omega is massively lower than on the print chart. Now, some of that could be a difference in buying habits and interest between print and digital audience, but a lot of it is likely just want happens when you cut all those variant covers out and end up with readers instead of collectors.
Finally, Peter Parker seems to be selling a little bit below where you’d expect it, based on print sales. Not anything like the difference with Venom, but enough to ask some questions.
Actually, the Marvel titles are the ones with the most variance from where you’d expect to see them based on print sales. Doctor Strange and All-New Wolverine are roughly where you’d expect to see them in relation to the other titles that week. Everything else is either higher or lower. Does that mean anything? Let’s get a couple months of data together before making conclusions about that. One week doesn’t prove a trend.
Want to learn more about how comics publishing and digital comics work? Try Todd’s book, Economics of Digital Comics