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Earlier this year, Mia Weisner, a graduate student at the University of Applied Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, asked readers of the webcomics news site Fleen to help out with her doctoral research by answering a survey on digital comics. Fleen’s Gary Tyrrell posted the results this week, and they make for interesting reading.
Of the 572 people who responded, only half said they read superhero comics. Action/adventure, humor/comedy and science fiction were the top genres, with over 60 percent each. Of course, this wasn’t a random sample (you can tell from the very first number: 98.6 percent were comics readers), and the preferred genres may reflect the sorts of things people come to Fleen to read about in the first place.
Still, these are the folks who are most likely to read digital comics, so the numbers paint an interesting picture. Some of the highlights:
If you look at these numbers, it looks like the digital comics folks are leaving money on the table. Half their potential audience isn’t buying and high cover price looks like a big part of the problem. Readers clearly perceive digital comics as a lesser product—because except for direct PDF downloads, you really don’t own them for good—and they aren’t willing to pay the full print price. Of course, as noted above, this is a self-selected group, but the readers of Fleen are probably an audience that digital comics marketers would want to pursue.