We Don’t Know How Big DC’s September Sales Victory Over Marvel Is
While DC triumphed over Marvel in September’s charts — if they hadn’t, it would have been the greatest shock of the year — but some folks, like Warren Ellis were unimpressed with the margins:
But all those units DC sold are returnable.
Thank god all those DC execs told everyone they weren’t interested in market share. Otherwise someone might have come away with the notion that DC really intended to give Marvel a fight in the marketplace and make Marvel sort their own shit out. What a stroke of luck for everybody.
However, one thing that these figures Diamond released today don’t take into account is that when comics are returnable, they are automatically downgraded by around 10%.
One more time: WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THE SALES FIGURES REALLY SHOW.
The only numbers we have to work with are Diamond’s numbers. In addition to not knowing newsstand and overseas sales, we do not know what the sales figures are for digital. Since the digital editions will be available forever (or close enough as makes no difference) with infinite copies available, sales will continue on these books for weeks and months afterwards.
And we have no idea what the market looks like for digital editions, or how it will expand in the upcoming months and reach people who have not stepped in a comics store in years, if ever.
We have now reached the reverse of the original Phil Seuling days. When he first started selling books, publishers would not include them in their calculations because they only sold to a narrow fan market. Now, we aren’t counting sales that don’t sell to that narrow fan market. We have no idea what the market share is in the brand new markets.
And it will be this way going forward, unless Comixology and Graphicly start releasing their numbers. Don’t hold your breath waiting for them.
- SCOOP: DC Grab Top Spot Over Marvel For Marketshare In September (bleedingcool.com)