International Sales

By | Monday, April 15, 2013 Leave a Comment
ICv2 shares some sales numbers from Image's March 15 releases; more interestingly, this is the first time that I've seen international numbers given. As noted in the article, we've seen Diamond UK estimates before (usually wrapped up in overall Diamond numbers) but not for anywhere else.

What's immediately striking, I think, is that worldwide numbers for each of the titles is pretty close to the same numbers that are sold in the US. A little higher overall, but frequently within 1000 units. Which means that, if this holds true for Image on a regular basis, that the Diamond estimates we usually see can be roughly doubled to get total sales. I expect profits aren't quite doubled since worldwide would almost certainly involve higher shipping costs if nothing else, but doubling total sales is nothing to sneeze at certainly.

You can't necessarily extrapolate anything for other publishers either. But since the Diamond numbers we always see are estimates in the first place, why not? :) That would suggest that the debuts of Gaurdians of the Galaxy and Age of Ultron were actually read by something closer to 400,000 people.

It also begs an interesting question: what about expanding the comics market beyond US borders? The US comics industry has been relatively static in terms of numbers for the past 15 years (John Jackson Millers notes only a 1% increase compared to 1998). One could argue -- and many have -- that comics just don't reach that broad of a population any more with other entertainment choices available (an arguement I think is total horse shit, I might add) and so the only way to expand their operations would be to go outside the US. That's a not-atypical approach actually, although it seems to me that publishing comics overseas would be more difficult because of the translation issue. It's certainly not insurmountable, but I would think focusing on the home markets and doing that well would be a bigger priority. Unless, I suppose, they're only shipping out English-language versions of their comics.

In any event, it will be interesting to see if Image (or any other publisher) is able to make greater forays into non-US markets. This should be, potentially, easier with comiXology setting up a European unit so that those countries might get some initial exposure to more US properties. So we might see that doubling of overall sales numbers turn into tripling or more pretty easily. Just something to keep your eye on over the next couple of years.
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