Two interesting numbers have emerged out of DC Entertainment’s announcement that its monthly titles are finally available on Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iBookstore and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Store — and if it’s one thing you rarely see in discussions of digital comics, it’s numbers.
In a pair of interviews with Hank Kanalz, DC’s senior vice president of digital, CNET and VentureBeat reveal the publisher has nearly doubled tripled its sales of digital comics: To be more specific, a comparison between January through September 2011 and January through September 2012 shows an increase of 197 percent. In that same time, print sales grew 12 percent, which CNET characterizes as “a highly unusual metric given that digital sales have the reputation for undercutting physical sales in other media.”
Of course, we have no number by which to gauge that growth; it could be double 50,000 downloads or 500,000, for all we know. However, Kanalz gets a little more specific when he says August’s Justice League #12, featuring the highly publicized kiss between Wonder Woman and Superman, was the fastest-ever to each 10,000 comics sold digitally. It’s presumably surpassed that number in the more than two months since its release, but we’ll probably never know by how much.
However, CNET suggests that by using the issue’s estimated print sales (160,000), “we can start making some educated guesses about digital sales — at least for popular titles.” I’m not so sure about that, considering the amount of media attention given the kiss, but it’s certainly a start.