Numbercrunching Squared – Marketshare Per Title, Marvel vs DC

I was having a discussion with a Marvel executive at San Diego, who bemoaned the fact that people were harping on about DC's increased marketshare, without acknowledging that DC published more comics than Marvel, so per capita Marvel were doing better.

I tried to point out that Marvel certainly could publish more titles if they wish, and indeed sometimes that they had. Also, Marvel charge more, on average for their comics as well, which would make up more revenue share.

But then I had a very similar conversation with another exec who told me the sa,me thing. And I'm just not sure it's true. So I went off to crunch some numbers.

Now both publishers put out reprint titles, but few actually sell well enough to make any kind of impact, wheter by dollar or by volume. So I thought I'd look at their original work, month by month and see how it breaks down.

In May, DC published 78 new titles, at a total cost of $270.22 and an average cost of $3.46. Marvel published 83 at a total cost of $290.17 and an average cost of $3.50 each. Marvel took 38.64% of unit sales and 35.32% of dollar spend, DC took 36.72% of unit sales and 32.73% of dollar spend.

Each Marvel title took 0.466% of unit marketshare and 0.426% of dollar marketshare.

Each DC title took 0.47% of unit marketshare and 0.42% of dollar marketshare.

In June, DC published 81 new titles, at a total cost of $278.19 and an average cost of $3.43. Marvel published 75 at a total cost of $288.25 and an average cost of $3.84. Marvel took 37.82% of unit sales and 33.77% of dollar spend, DC took 38.23% of unit sales and 33.03% of dollar spend.

Each Marvel title took 0.504% of unit marketshare and 0.45% of dollar marketshare.

Each DC title took 0.472% of unit marketshare and 0.408% of dollar marketshare.

In July, DC published 80 new titles, at a total cost of $271.20 and an average cost of $3.39. Marvel published 71 at a total cost of $275.29 and an average cost of $3.88. Marvel took 35.45% of unit sales and 31.96% of dollar spend, DC took 36.55% of unit sales and 32.71% of dollar spend.

Each Marvel title took 0.499% of unit marketshare and 0.45% of dollar marketshare.

Each DC title took 0.457% of unit marketshare and 0.409% of dollar marketshare.

In August, DC published 77 new titles, at a total cost of $284.23 and an average cost of $3.69. Marvel published 85 at a total cost of $324.15 and an average cost of $3.82. Marvel took 37.18% of unit sales and 32.42% of dollar spend, DC took 37.12% of unit sales and 33.32% of dollar spend.

Each Marvel title took 0.437% of unit marketshare and 0.381% of dollar marketshare.

Each DC title took 0.482% of unit marketshare and 0.433% of dollar marketshare.

What does this show us? Well there does seem to be a correlation between increasing the amount of product published per month and reducing the amount of marketshare each title gets. That generally DC publish more original work than Marvel every month, but that a five week month avery three months makes up for that. And really, DC and Marvel are much of a muchness, just that DC comics cost less. Though it's not by the usual dollar that the promotions may lead you to believe.

And now my brain hurts.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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