The day before New York Comic Con, ComiXology invited the press to their offices to hear some statistics about its users—and then to hear from the users themselves, as they brought in a group of five comiXology customers to talk about their comics reading habits. We’ll summarize the stats in this first post and look at what the users had to say in the next one.
According to the company’s research, comiXology users are primarily male. The typical guy who uses the service is 27-36 years old and has been reading print comics for over 15 years. They have at least some college education, and 18% work in technology. They get their comics news from CBR, IGN, and Bleeding Cool; their favorite TV shows are The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Big Bang Theory; their favorite (non-comics) websites are IGN, Reddit, and ESPN, and their favorite apps are Comics by comiXology, Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Kindle
Women make up 20% comiXology’s user base (up from about 5% at its launch). They are somewhat younger (17-26 years old) than the typical guy and have only been reading print comics for one to five years. They also have some college education, and 23% are students. They get their comics news from CBR, Comics Alliance, and IGN; their favorite TV shows are The Walking Dead, Big Bang Theory, and Doctor Who; their favorite websites are Tumblr, BBC, and CNN, and their favorite apps are Comics by comiXology, Facebook, Twitter, and Kindle.
Some other stats: The average comiXology user spends $100 per year on the app, but 25% of users spend more than $400 per year, and one big spender has racked up $63,000 in purchases. In terms of the devices they use, 80% of customers read comics on a tablet, 44% read on a computer, and 42% read on a smartphone. Two-thirds of them read their comics at night, and 55% admit to reading in the bathroom.
The users surveyed were enthusiastic about comiXology’s Guided View feature, which zooms in on individual panels; 75% said it was a “key benefit,” and 85% simply liked having all their comics in the same place.
And they are honest! Well, mostly: 25% admit to downloading comics illegally, but that’s down by 25% from the 2012 responses.
Giving credence to the conventional wisdom that digital comics are expanding the market, 20% of new buyers in the third quarter of 2013 said their first comic purchase was digital, and 64% of that group said they now buy print comics as well.
Finally, one interesting sidelight into comics use is that 40% said that they hide the amount they spend on comics from their significant other, and 10% say they would be “killed” if they admitted how much they spent.
Check out the infographic below for more fascinating facts about comiXology users.
A former book editor and newspaper reporter, Brigid Alverson started MangaBlog to keep track of her daughters¹ reading habits and now covers comics and graphic novels for Comic Book Resources , School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Robot 6, and MTV Geek. She also edits the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. Brigid was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards. Send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org