Robot 6

DC’s New 52 appealed to avid and lapsed readers, survey finds

DC Comics’ sweeping linewide relaunch appealed primarily to avid fans and lapsed readers, according to the unprecedented survey conducted last fall by the Nielsen National Research Group. The publisher presented the results Thursday in Dallas at the annual meeting of ComicsPRO, the direct-market trade association.

More than 70 percent of respondents described themselves as avid fans who visit the comic shop once a week, while more than 25 percent of in-store consumers were lapsed readers. Just 5 percent characterized themselves as new or first-time readers.

Ninety-three percent of respondents were male, and more than 50 percent reported an annual income of less than $60,000 — a figure that John Rood, executive vice president of sales, marketing and business development, told ICv2.com “validated DC’s attempt to hold the price point for most comics to $2.99.” Just 2 percent were under the age of 18, with an overwhelming majority of respondents falling between the ages of 18 and 44 (no real surprise).

Also worth noting: 50 percent of digital readers also read print comics, while just 16 percent of print readers said they read or purchased digital comics. Forty-eight percent of digital buyers were over the age of 35.

The three-pronged survey was conducted between Sept. 26 and Oct. 11, specifically targeting consumers who purchased DC’s New 52 titles. In-store questionnaires — you’ll recall Patton Oswalt’s encounter with a “pushy” Nielsen employee — accounted for 167 responses, while 5,336 came from the online survey. A third group of 626 was pulled from customers who purchased New 52 books through comiXology or the DC app.

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15 Comments

This indusrty/hobby is soon to be extinct. If these results are true, comics haven’t made fans since the mid 90s and those of us there are have no disposible income.

I’m so tired of hearing how the industry is going to die.

“Ninety-three percent of respondents were male…”
“Just 2 percent were under the age of 18…”

Reading those statistics, it seems that they paid a lot of money to discover what everyone already knew.

Meanwhile, over in the school and library market, there are a lot of kids reading graphic novels and comics NOT published by Marvel and DC.

People who think this industry is dieing are some of the densest people in the world. The only facet that is dieing is the direct market and for good reason, too.

I have serious doubts about the results of this survey. I believe the age from personal experience…few kids seem to have a interest. I think the annual average income has to be higher.

These results actually made me sad.
I’m glad that DC’s relaunch has proven successful and appears to have also helped the industry as a whole.
But I really was hoping the effort had snagged new readers. A lot of the press coverage appeared to indicate new faces frequenting comics shops.
I loved the idea of say Twilight fans picking up I,Vampire or fantasy readers trying Demon Knights or just long-time lapsed readers (say fans as kids who are now adults) rediscovering the magic of Superman or the Flash or Justice League.
At least based on these results DC has publicized so far, that is not the case. Too bad.

Call me an optimist but a Five Percent growth in your customer base is nothing to poo-poo.

Ninety-three percent were male? I’m not even sure what to say to that.

Jason – true. Until you think of all the hype, advertising and so on – and what a huge event this 52 relaunch was

This is a big problem with mainstream comics right now–they haven’t given ANY thought to seeking out new audiences actively, of ALL ages! They should be following the model the toy industry uses–they actively seek new consumers, at little to no cost to their longtime fans.

What people don’t realize, that mainstream comics are for a now statistically apparent demographic. They’re for certain people. What’s wrong with that? There are other comics for the rest.

But are we still the mainstream then?

Anyway, it might have helped if DC had spent even half an iota of the effort they put into the promotion of the New 52 into the actual quality and accessibility of the books, rather than peddling reheated bland crap from the same tired bunch of b-list creators and editors.

(Typical fanboy bitching and moaning, I hear you say? You betcha!)

I’m not sure the survey was really geared toward new readers, though, at least in availability. It was only offered in a handful of stores and apparently not very frequently through comixology, which would be the only places I’d really expect to encounter new readers. I’m not sure I believe that myriad new readers are going to seek out a website like this one immediately and take an online survey. It wasn’t advertised in any of the published material, AFAIK.

Aha! Proof that children under the age of 18 don’t take surveys!

I would miss getting more stories by certain characters, but if the whole industry went digital, I would gladly stop spending 200 $ a month on new comics. There are millions of sweet backissues to chase, while I don’t have the least interest in ever purchasing digital comics.

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