Arion wrote:The problem is that both companies release way too many books. But DC publishes even more titles than Marvel.
DC and Marvel seem to think that people who buy comic-books have budgets that can expand to meet the # of titles produced. So if I buy 10 DC titles, when they are only publishing 10, they think that means I will buy 20, if they produce 20.
But that's not what happens. What happens for most of us is we have a budget, an amount we can spend on comics. Say it's $40. And at today's prices, that's about 10 titles, maybe 12 depending on the publisher. To use round numbers, let's call it 10. If DC produces 20 titles, I can buy half of their product. If they produce something like, oh, just picking a random number, 52 titles, I'm not going to buy half (26). I'm going to by < 20% (the same 10 I always bought). If they put something new out that I like better than what I was reading, I'm not going to ADD it to my pull list in most cases. I'm going to DROP my least favorite to add the better one.
So for example, when people here turned me on to Suicide Risk and I loved it, I added it to my pull list, but correspondingly dropped Earth-2, which was at the bottom of my pull list. When Alex+Ada 1-2 charmed the pants off me, I added that to my pull list, and dropped World's Finest. Etc.
Now, sure, my pull list can expand a small amount (a title or two), especially temporarily (Legends of Red Sonja was added, and did not replace anything, because it's a 4-issue mini). But I'm not going to go from 10 to 20 or 30 titles a month. That is just not going to happen.
Now, I know there are rabid collectors with a lot more money than I have, who apparently WILL do the pull-list exponential-growth thing. But it's pretty clear at this point that those folks are rare.
In fact if you add up all the comics published by DC in a month, over the last year, DC has sold about 2.5 million units per month across all titles. This has been remarkably consistent month after month, except for the 3Dnado, despite crossovers, etc. (If you take out the 3Dnado month, the Standard Deviation is only like 20,000 or 1%, which is very tiny, and even with the 3Dnado, the S.D. is only like 3%, still very tiny -- I wish my science research produced variances that small.)
The data therefore suggests that DC has some unknown number of fans that, collectively, buy 2.5 million titles each month -- or put another way, that have about $10 million/month to spend on comics. If DC puts out MORE titles, the data clearly show that they won't sell more total comics, but that some of the existing titles will lose sales to the newer ones. If they put out something "big" like Batman Year 0, Batman gains sales, but that means something else, somewhere else in the line, is going to lose sales.
What amazes me is that they don't seem to have been able to figure this out, with all their marketing experts, when I could figure it out in 15 minutes with Comichron and a spreadsheet.