Some small notes RE: DC (& Digital) from this year's ComicsPRO meeting

I'm just back from Dallas and the 2012 ComicsPRO meeting. I forgot that the laptop didn't have any of the log-in info for the Savage Critic site, and I forgot to write it all down, so, gr to that! I have an entire Tilting column that I'm going to write which is sort of kind of "about" the meeting (but not really, since that won't be for three more weeks, and then we're talking about the past, which no one ever likes!), but I don't think I'll have any room there for any of this stuff.

I wrote these all down on scraps of paper, but I did ask that I can report them... but I might have made a transcription error somewhere here. If so, I trust someone from DC will send me an email!

• DC's John Rood, on digital: "We were surprised to find out that the conversation we're having about digital is about aiding physical (format) growth, NOT managing physical decline; this is utterly different than any other media's results" (Actually, that clause after the semi-colon might be my own thought, and not a quote, I can't quite tell from how I wrote it down. A reporter I am not!)

This is important stuff, and I think it changes the conversation completely.


• The redemption rate on the combo pack for the digital codes in JUSTICE LEAGUE? It was just 20% on issue #1, and it has dropped to just 10% (on #4 or #5, I don't think was 100% clear) -- it appears that DM consumers bought those AS COLLECTIBLE VARIANT COVERS, rather than because they wanted a digital copy!!!

I also have a note here that there were 15k combo packs for #1, and it's down to 5k now (so, actually, those might be semi-legitimately rare covers)


• The single best sales day for day-and-date DC digital comics has been and continues to be the first Wednesday of release; when the price drops by a dollar there's a teeny spike in velocity  -- evidently it is the 10th best sales day (Is that "on average" or for a specific title? I don't think that was clarified) -- but not any kind of a huge surge; this would seem to indicate that digital buyers are just fine paying the full print price, so that they can be "part of the conversation" at initial release.

I, for one, think that IF the "99 cents!" crowd were even CLOSE to correct, that $1.99 day would be the strongest day of release. It isn't. It's #10. You get what your behavior indicates.

"New" comics will never been 99 cents on an ongoing basis, ever, if you ask me -- it would just be leaving money on the table; and it means you can never do anything to stimulate sales by putting material ON SALE!


• It was indicated that New 52 digital books were remarkably consistent and in parity with their print brethren -- drops in sales of print were mirrored in similar proportions in digital. They gave us an average percentage-of-print for digital, but I lost the piece of paper I wrote that on (I told you I suck!), so I can't remember if it was average across the board or on a specific title, or, really what the exact number was. It was very low, however -- I want to say somewhere between 10 and 15 %.


• DC is actually going to release the full results of the Nielsen data, generally. Next week or something -- they showed us slides, and some of that has been reported anecdotally, but we were assured of a FULL release of ALL data to ALL retailers, not just ComicsPRO.

Which means everyone in the world is going to see it soon.

This is AWESOME on DC's part; and when it happens, all you internet pundits should try really hard to NOT be assholes about the data points, and, y'know, maybe THANK THEM for sharing something very very expensive, instead of complaining about things you don't like about it.

(I know, I know: "good luck with that")

FURTHERMORE, DC has every plan to continue to FOLLOW UP on the surveys with more surveys -- this is NOT a one-shot thing. DC flew two Nielsen employees to the ComicsPRO meeting to help gather opinions about what the next questions should include; that should indicate that they were pretty serious.



Outside of DC, most of the digital points were seconded by every other publisher in attendance


That's what I have for you today; time to try and stuff my leaking brain back into my ears...