At the end of the year, the DC Comics New 52 reboot was largely deemed a financial success. While DC still lags behind Marvel in terms of market share, the reboot brought them a considerable boost in sales and the honour of having the top selling issue of 2011–Justice League #1. All in all, DC had a pretty good year and accomplished much of what they intended to do with their reboot… or did they?
DC had contracted out the Nielsen Company to survey readership statistics for the New 52 early on in the launch and the results weren’t especially impressive.
The survey itself had a fairly large sample size of 5,366 participants, who were surveyed through a variety of methods (in person at comic shops, online, and via e-mail). The survey responders were overwhelmingly male–making up 93% of all those surveyed–and it was found that only 5% were first-time comic readers, probably not exactly the kind of reinvigoration that DC was hoping for. They did however have a small victory in bringing lapsed readers (*waves* Oh hi!) back into the fold, as more than one quarter of all in-store surveys were from that demographic.
While these statistics aren’t necessarily surprising, it’s hard not to see the potential margin for error. While it is not specified how many of the surveys were done in-store versus online, it’s easy to imagine why newer fans and perhaps even female readers might not be inclined to talk to a pushy Nielsen henchmen, especially if he’s the kind of guy who comics writer Mark Sable encountered: a “creepy close talker” whom he at first “thought… was a pedophile.”
DC has plans for a second survey now that several months have passed and it’ll be interesting to see what sort of shift, if any, has occurred.
[Via: The Source - DC Comics]