The digital comic industry saw $90 million dollars in revenue over the course of 2013. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the trade industry that raked in $870 million during the same period.
The rise of the digital comic industry has consistently been growing since 2009. We saw $1 million in revenue in 2009, $8 million in 2010, $25 million in 2011, $70 million in 2012 and now $90 million in 2013. This is explosive growth, but many industry experts have acknowledged that the industry might be tapering off.
Amazon is hoping to capitalize on digital comic industry by purchasing the biggest distribution company, Comixology. It is currently unknown how Amazon intends on keeping the momentum going with the acquisition, but it already has turned off a number of customers.
The flagship Comixology app for iOS has disabled the ability to purchase digital comics within the app. Instead, users have to access the main website through their web-browser and sync the purchases to the app. Comixology also powers Marvel, DC, Archie, GI.JOE and a number of other standalone apps. Marvel is one of the only ones that still allow you to purchase comics within the app, due to the contract they signed a few years ago.
The new comic book industry sales data is primarily due to the combined work of pop culture trade news website ICv2.com, headed by Milton Griepp, whose annual White Paper on the comics and graphic novels sales, is a standard on sales reporting in the comics industry; and Comichron, a longtime repository of comics sales data. The core data comes from Diamond, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple and a myriad of other resellers.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.