DC is expanding its online presence after digital comics sales increased by 200%.
Digital distribution isn’t really one of those things you can ignore anymore. Almost all entertainment mediums, including music, movies, videogames, and even novels have made steady progress towards new electronic formats. Comic books are a little behind the curve however, as most publishers restrict digital sales to specific apps like Comixology. Thankfully, comic book fans who prefer alternatives may finally be in luck: DC Comics is expanding its weekly issue releases to the Kindle, iTunes, and Nook storefronts.
“It’s not a move [away from Comixology],” said DC Entertainment Senior Vice President of Digital Hank Kanalz, “it’s an expansion … My charter is to go as wide as possible, and to expand to as many readers as possible. That’s what this is.”
Graphic novel collections were already available through digital storefronts, but a recent increase in digital sales seems to have prompted the expansion to single issues. According to Kanalz, digital sales rose a stunning 197% from last year alone. In response, 70 titles have been added to the popular storefronts, including New 52 superhero stories, Vertigo titles, and even a selection of back issues. More books will be added in the coming months. “We’re starting with day-and-date digital, then move to the backlist,” Kanalz added.
What’s surprising about this particular digital transition is that unlike other entertainment media, digital comic books don’t seem to be undercutting physical sales. Physical comic book sales remained steady over the past year, even managing a slight 12% increase. It’s possible that long-time comic book readers are sticking with physical editions, while the 197% digital increase is coming from new readers unfamiliar with brick-and-mortar comic shops. Regardless, the figures are promising enough while DC has little to lose in the venture, and if new readers are introduced to some good comics along the way, all the better.