ComiXology Tops 50 Million Downloads
Leading Digital Comics Platform Hits Major Milestone December Sees 5 Million Downloads Alone
March 6th, 2012 – New York, NY – ComiXology is proud to announce today that customers have downloaded over 50 million comic books and graphic novels from their Comics by comiXology platform to date — with 5 million of those 50 million downloads coming about in December alone. These download numbers include both paid and free downloads.
“It’s humbling to have helped create new comic fans – and to help make so many current fans happy – by making comic books and graphic novels available at a click of a button and delivering a compelling reading experience across multiple devices,” said co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. “Who would have thought three years ago that comics would be a driving force in the iPad economy? Much less see almost 10% of our gross downloads for the lifetime of our platform happen in only one month! The acceleration is just incredible.”
Pop Culture industry website ICv2 reported yesterday that comiXology’s 5 million comics and graphic novels downloaded digitally in December compares roughly to 6.4 million print comics and graphic novels sold into retail comic book specialty shops in the same month.
“With print comics showing strong growth at the end of 2011 simultaneously with comiXology’s record growth, comic books have proven to be one of the few examples of an entertainment medium transitioning to digital without disrupting the analog sales channel,” said comiXology co-founder John Roberts. “I’m more confident than ever that digital comics are additive to print sales.”
Comics by comiXology launched in July of 2009 as an app on the iPhone and iPod Touch. The digital comics platform was extended into the iPad on its launch in April of 2010, with extension to the Web in July 2010 and onto Android at the tail end of that year. 2011 saw the platform add Amazon’s Kindle Fire to its outlets.
The milestone announcement of 50 million comic downloads comes on the heels of the Comics by comiXology digital comics platform solidifying it’s status as the “go to” platform for current, lapsed and newly interested comic fans. This past October saw Comics by comiXology consistently chart as the top grossing iPad app in the entire iTunes App Store on new comics release day — a trend that has continued throughout 2012. Then in November, Comics by comiXology was selected as a pre-loaded app on Amazon’s Kindle Fire alongside Facebook and Twitter. By the end of 2012, comiXology had powered three of the top 20 grossing iPad apps — with Comics by comiXology coming in at number 11 for the entire year.
Skitch Commentary: As a huge supporter of digital comics, this is exciting news. It is amazing how quickly this market keeps growing over the last few months. It is pretty obvious that a lot of this can be traced back to DC deciding to go same day digital on so many of their books, and other companies quickly following suit.
The only problem is that the vagueness of marketing language make it tough to parse how big this news is. For example, they say: “Pop Culture industry website ICv2 reported yesterday that comiXology’s 5 million comics and graphic novels downloaded digitally in December compares roughly to 6.4 million print comics and graphic novels sold into retail comic book specialty shops in the same month.”
Do they mean 50 million comics bought (or added to “collections” for free comics)? Or if I download the same comic onto multiple devices or multiple times on the same device (I have a Tablet and don’t keep many comics on it, so I have re-downloaded comics a few times), do those count as multiple downloads?
Also, when I read a comic on Comixology’s website, I am not actually downloading the comic. Do they count each time I read the comic as an individual download?
And counting free comics also skews the numbers drastically, especially since it’s not clear what their definition of download is.
Don’t get me wrong, this is exciting news, and I have been trumpeting about it all over the net today. I am just trying to figure out exactly what this does mean for the market. As far as I’m concerned, digital comics are the future of the industry, and I hope these amazing numbers cause publishers to start rethinking their strategies when it comes to digital much more.
For example, DC still does not post their new comics onto Comixology until around 2 P.M. most Wednesdays. And Marvel does not price drop their books, which is especially an issue when digital comics cost as much as print comics in many cases. Looking at 5 million downloads in one month could cause they to start taking the digital market more seriously.