Thursday, February 18, 2016

Financial Predictions for DC's Rebirth

If you're a fan of a stronger continuity in the DC Universe or if you are excited to see Action Comics #1000 in a couple years, with Detective Comics #1000 following soon thereafter, then you have a lot to be happy about with DC's Rebirth in summer 2016. But if you were a fan of the creative approaches taken with The Omega Men, Prez, or Gotham by Midnight, you might be less thrilled.

The biggest question, however, is how Rebirth with pan out on the business side of things, because DC Comics is a business, after all. Using the rough sales estimates from my post comparing Rebirth and the DC You, I ran the numbers to see if DC's move toward $2.99 cover prices and biweekly issues from the top tier of books was likely to make good business sense. The short answer is yes.

Here's how it breaks down:
  • DC You
    • 45 titles, 45 issues per month
    • 1,246,000 copies sold per month
    • $3.19 average price
    • $4.271 Million ($94,900 per issue)
  • DC Rebirth (projected using a conservative 10,000 issues sold for titles with no comparators)
    • 32 titles, 49 issues per month
    • 1,700,000 copies sold per month
    • $2.99 average price
    • $5.083 Million ($103,700 per issue)
 Because the Rebirth is cutting out nearly all the titles that were selling less than 20,000 copies and it is doubling up on the better selling titles by publishing them biweekly, my conservative estimate has them seeing a 19% increase in sales income and a 9% increase in revenue per issue. So that strategy more than makes up for the reduction in cover price. (The biweekly approach will also reduce the time from the start of a story arc to its appearance as a trade, so that has some upside too.)

Fans will certainly be happy to get books like Batman, Superman, and Justice League for $2.99, and if the biweekly books have strong stories, then that will be yet another reason for the fans to rejoice. Overall, the Rebirth initiative seems to have the potential to be win-win in terms of business and fan satisfaction.

The downside is that personally I will miss Martian Manhunter, Midnighter, and The Omega Men, and I am already missing Prez. But apparently there are only 10-15 thousand of us reading those books, so there shouldn't be too much complaining.

EDIT: See my market share analysis leading up to and through the DC You initiative.

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