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Monday, February 13, 2012 

Survey discovers much of DC's audience is old

A recent survey revealed that whatever readership DC has left is aging, and very few are women:
At the ComicsPro meeting in Dallas today DC Comics presented the results of an extensive survey of customers who purchased “New 52” titles during the first weeks of what was the comic industry phenomenon of 2011. Among the key findings of the survey was the fact the “New 52” titles appealed primarily to avid comic book fans, who represented 70% of the survey’s respondents and lapsed readers (more than 25% of in-store consumers were lapsed readers), while 5% were new to comics. Other key findings include the fact that under 2% of the respondents were under 18 (which demonstrates that comics really aren’t just for kids anymore and takes some of the sting out of the attacks on the “New 52” books for their more mature content, see “TV Report Targets DC Comics”), that 93% of the respondents were male, and that more than 50% of the survey respondents had annual incomes under $60,000.
Interesting how the ICV2 site simultaneously seems to have a problem deciding whether they want younger readers to fuel the business or not when they say the polling contradicts the attacks on DC's jarringly adult content, without considering that it's likely alienating the grownup audience far more than the younger audience. But what this does confirm is: DC is not succeeding in drawing in the younger generation, if at all, nor have they done much to convince any women to take a look at their products. And chances are quite possible that DC's staff doesn't want to either.

Their marketing manager John Rood also admitted that digital sales are not what they originally hyped:
Print readers listed collectibility as the primary reason they bought physical copies, but they also expressed a dislike of reading comics onscreen. Rood told ICv2 that the redemption of the digital codes in DC’s digital combo packs has been “astonishingly low,” a fact he attributed to the purchasers of those books being primarily interested in collecting a different edition of the material they like.
So even their online products haven't taken off. With people like that in charge though, it's no surprise they don't know how to market.

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You know, with information like that, I don't understand why DC does not have one wing of titles that unapologetically goes straight for this adult market and seeks out adult women readers. I don't mean with more sex and violence necessarily, but rather with a stress on characters known to be favourites of people in that age group, like the Titans. Would it really be so hard to do a grown-up Titans book that really worked? Winick almost managed it on Outsiders. That title had a lot of problems, but at least the Titans were adults and their villains and crimes they fought were adult-level scenarios.

Because they are Chicken and see women as a threat it is likely far easier to entertain the same group then to branch out because to branch out they would have to change and let go of their current mindset.


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