DC Sets Record Straight on Dec. 2011 Sales Figures

Marvel reclaimed the market share win in December. What does this mean for DC in the future?

John Rood, DC's vice president of sales, marketing and business development, and SVP of Sales Bob Wayne spoke to Newsarama this month about what December's sales figures mean for DC and their competitive position with Marvel.

DC Comics, buoyed by the New 52 sales, took the top spots in market share in the fall until December came, when Marvel took the lead again. What does it mean? And what impact will it have coming into 2012?

Highlights from the discussion include:

- Marvel's "win" in December of the market share race might have been different if not for the way Diamond reports "returnable" comics. (As the execs explain below, the December numbers for DC's returnable comics are being reported lower than they will probably end up being, meaning DC may have "won" the month anyway.)

- While the executives congratulated Marvel on the company's market share win, Wayne and Rood both were frequent to point out differences between DC and Marvel, maintaining that DC's approach is more admirable on things like digital/print combo packs, price points and the number of titles released.

- DC confirmed that they're seeing a phenomenon similar to Newsarama's feedback from retailers that high-selling titles are doing better than pre-September, but mid- and low-tier titles are heading back to the pre-relaunch level.

- This year will see higher price points and page counts for Batman and Detective Comics. The comics will go from 32 pages each to 40 pages, and they'll sell at $3.99, joining DC's other $3.99 comics: Justice League, Action Comics, All-Star Western and Men of War.

- There's a "story reason" that Batman and Detective are adding pages, but that has yet to be announced.

- New "combo packs" (with both a print and digital version of the comic) are on the horizon for Green Lantern and Detective Comics, similar to those being offered for Justice League, Batman and Action Comics. The new Detective combo pack will be $4.99, while the new Green Lantern combo will be $3.99. Batman's combo pack will increase to $4.99.

- DC is planning no major digital announcements in 2012 that will be comparable to the digital moves the company made in 2011.

- While Newsarama has been told in the past that the move to same-day digital drove the decisions behind the New 52 initiative, language from Rood indicates the priority in 2012 has shifted strongly back to the print market.

- DC is hinging some of its 2012 plans for how to shake up its print comics market on discussions at next month's ComicsPRO annual meeting, where they'll be revealing the results of the Nielson survey the company conducted last year.

Check out more from the discussion by clicking the link below!

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