Firstly, following up on the list of webcomicky types to attend NYCC, I missed some. From the comment thread:
You could also add 3 of the 4 Webcomic Alliance members will also be present, Booth P5 & P6.
As well, one may find Jim Zub & Edwin Huang at booth T6; I’m sure Z-man hears plenty about how awesome Skullkickers is, so maybe somebody asks him about Makeshift Miracle? Fleen regrets the oversight, and invites further corrections on people we may have missed.
Does this count as a second followup, or a followup squared? Back in April, Mia Wiesner (of the University of Applied Sciences in Liepzig) wrote to ask for your opinions and attitudes towards digital comics. In June, she shared her preliminary results with us, and yesterday she updated us with final numbers. Let’s get statistical! Or, since there’s a lot of info here, let’s get summarized!
Wiesner received 572 valid responses, of which 98.6% were existing comics readers. Genres cited by the respondents as “favorites” included Action/Adventure (62.2%), Humor/Comedy (60.1%), and Science Fiction (62.6%), with strong showings from Fantasy (50.3%) and Superhero (48.9%), and Autobiography (33.9%); no other genre (Adaptation of Classics/Literary, Adult, Crime/Mystery, Educational, Historical, Horror, Kids/Disney, Romance, Other) exceeded 23.4%. 73% of the respondents reported spending $20/month or less on comics, print and digital; 86% would or have read digital comics.
However, less than half of those that would (41.9%) have bought digital comics; counting those that are willing to do so in the future bring the total up to 73.4%, leaving 26.6% that either will not read digital comics, or will not buy them. Those that have bought digital mostly got them from comiXology (33.3%) or direct from publishers (31.7%); no other channel (Amazon, creator website, graphic.ly, Panelfly, iTunes, iVerse, Playstation Store, WOWIO, “Other”) had more than a 19% penetration.
Reasons to buy digital comics included unavailability of print editions (46.3%), portability (43.9%), shelf space (41.5%), and affordability (39.0%). The least common reason cited (other than “other”) was a tie at 14.6% for printing/downloading allowed and special features. Those that make “motion comics”, take note.
Here’s the important bit, the one that DC, Marvel, and the rest are shooting themselves in the foot over: What percentage of the cover price would you be willing to pay for a digital comic? The choices were at 20% increments, any guesses?
- Up to 20% of cover: 35.8%
- Up to 40% of cover: 24.2%
- Up to 60% of cover: 29.1%
- Up to 80% of cover: 8.5%
- Up to 100% of cover: 2.4%
Let’s emphasize that: only 10.4% of the readers who are willing to buy digital in the first place will pay more than 60% of cover price, and fully 60% will only go as far as 40% of cover price. The publishers that are pricing comics the same as their print copies are fighting for the purchasing budget of one reader out of forty. Oh, and monthly budgets for digital comics for those that buy them? 53.8% haven’t spent more than $5/month.
Final statistic for you: the largest single age cohort in the responses (34.2%) is 22 – 30 years old, who are both young enough to be completely immersed in technology, old enough to have some disposable income, and have decades of comic buying in front of them. They want digital, they have reasons to buy them, but they ain’t going to spend as much for non-physical artifacts as they would for actual things they can hold — and the two least appealing things about digital comics for them are not actually owning the comic (51.0%) and DRM (44.1%).
These are the people you have to sell to, and they’ve just told you what they’re willing to pay and under what circumstances. Do with it as you will.
Fleen thanks Ms Wiesner for sharing her numbers.