Digital comics platform ComiXology, which was the most profitable non-game App on iPad in 2013 for third year in a row, sold 4 billion pages of comics last year (via Wired). The iPad app has over 45,000 comics available from more than 75 publishers and has sold over 6 billion pages of comics since its launch in 2009, on desktop and iOS.
ComiXology CEO David Steinberger attributes that growth not just to the migration of existing comics fans from print, but entirely new fans discovering the medium online.
“We’re finding that a larger and larger percentage of our user base — our new user base — is people who are buying comics for the very first time with us,” Steinberger told WIRED. Those customers are then finding their way into comics shops: Of the 20 percent of ComiXology customers who bought their first comics online in the last quarter 2013, 64 percent have begun buying print comics as well.
With ComiXology, users get instant access to digital versions of comic book titles, saving them a trip to their local comics shop. The app’s digital interface, that has been developed to translate traditional comics to the small screens of smartphones, may also be a factor in the platform’s appeal to newcomers. Furthermore, the app’s guided-view technology automatically shifts from panel to panel as you tap, which makes navigation much easier for new readers.
It is interesting to note that even though the majority of ComiXology users remain male, in the third quarter of 2013, 20% of ComiXology’s new customers were women, up from about 5% at launch. Steinberger suspects the shift to a newer and more diverse readership is due in part to “the breadth of content ComiXology offers”, which contains a wider range of material than most comics shops.
Do you use ComiXology to read comics on your iPad? If yes, do you think the comic experience is better on iPad than the print versions?