Are we also forgetting that we have been in the midst of a financial crises since 2008? It's one thing to keep loyal readers through these times, because they are familiar with the stories, but if you'd like to start a new hobby (reading comics), then you'd have to make an investment. Figuring out which comics you like, maybe reading some back issues. Even if the costs of these things are not incredibly high, the percieved costs of starting a new hobby can seem high for somebody who would like to go into comics, but has no idea how to industry works.
I think all in all, holding on to this many customers is great.