Big marketing changes coming to DC in 2012.
With the beginning of a new year, change is bound to happen.
And for fans who follow the market share race between Marvel and DC, that change came Friday. While DC held the top spot each month since their much-publicized "New 52" relaunch in September, the newest numbers from December had Marvel reclaiming the top spot once again.
John Rood, the company's executive vice president of sales, marketing and business development, has always maintained that the market sales number doesn't matter. As he's been joining with DC's SVP of Sales Bob Wayne to talk with Newsarama each month, market share is not DC's goal.
- Marvel's win in December of the market share race might have been different if not for the way Diamond reports returnable comics.
- 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 numbers for mid and low-tier titles are heading back to the post-September (before relaunch) level.
- DC announced that we will see higher price points and page counts this year for at least 2 more comics in Batman and Detective Comics. Both comics will go from 32 pages each to 40 pages, but will also be selling at $3.99. DC currently has Justice League, Action Comics, All-Star Western, and Men of War all at the $3.99 price point.
- Rood stated there was a good reason for the higher price and page change - a "Story Reason" which 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 has no major digital announcements planned in 2012 that is 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.