Sunday, September 18, 2011

Digital Horizons: Collections and Sales

This week Marvel announced that it will be releasing digital collections as opposed to just single issues. I approve. This makes sense for someone who's trying to catch up on backstory--you buy several issues all together and get them at a discount. I don't know anything about Marvel's app, but I hope they allow for bookmarking. If you're working your way through a 300-page collection, it would be nice to easily return to the place where you stopped.

Apparently Ultimate Comics Spider-Man 1 broke digital sales records for Marvel. I'm not surprised. It would be interesting to be able to compare digital sales across companies and see whether UCSM or Justice League 1 sold more. My guess would be UCSM. Skitch Maillaro at Inside Pulse notes that UCSM 1 was available first thing in the morning, whereas DC waits until 2pm Eastern to release their same-day comics. I agree with Skitch that there's no real reason not to do this. Are there really people who are otherwise planning to buy print but will instead buy digital because they can get it a few hours earlier?

David Brothers at Comics Alliance takes a look at claims about digital sales--for example, Justice League 1 breaking digital sales records and now UCSM 1 doing the same--and points out that without numbers, it's just hype. He quotes Tom Spurgeon as saying it's basically "the 'I have a girlfriend in Canada' of sales analysis." This made me want to listen to my Avenue Q soundtrack again.


  1. Because who wants to read just one issue of a six-part storyline? Excellent move on Marvel's part, and I'd expect DC to follow suit not too long after.

    And it is indeed page after page after page, right, and not that you get a bunch of single issues at a discount?

  2. You know, I assumed it was just one big digital comic, but I'm not positive. That would be one solution, to simply offer a group of singles at a discount. I know that when DC briefly offered a Planetary omnibus a few months ago, it looked like it was just one big digital comic. I suppose this is yet another thing that will get refined as digital comics grow up and publishers figure out what works best.