Eudicom Preliminary Results

The research objectives are:

  • Collecting information on the comic book market in Europe
  • Assessing the degree of digitalization of the European comic book market
  • Gathering input for the development of training tools

Following the methodology:

  • Quantitative questionnaire (partners in focus countries France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and all FEP members)
  • Qualitative questionnaire (interviews with publishers and stakeholders)

Preliminary results – general

First, we obtain detailed information from focus countries: France, Italy, Poland, Spain

Then we had comprehensive information from other major markets: Belgium, Germany

And to finish, little information from about 20 more countries.

Initial findings 

The comic book market is only significant in a limited number of territories: Detailed information on comic book sales, especially in digital, is hard to come by. Comics-book publishing is somewhat of a niche sector, often with relatively tenuous links with the rest of the sector (also in association terms). In most cases, the digital penetration in the sector is very low. 

Data on main markets surveyed

In term of production: big markets (FR, DE, IT, ES) produce 3-4,000 new titles per year (France on top), mid-sized ones (BE, PL) 1-2,000 (Belgium punches above its weight).

European comics and manga are the main genres

In term of Publishers: There are 1 00 to 400 in DE, IT, FR (FR has the most), less than 50 in ES, PL, 75 in BE (high given overall size). 

Comics represent 2 to 6% of the publishers’ sales in most territories, with notable exceptions France (15%) and French-speaking Belgium (around 33% of publishing revenues)

Average prices are between 7.50 and 15 EUR, with no clear link with a country’s income. 

Digital catalogues: a few to several thousand titles in IT, ES, DE and more than 20,000 in FR; very few in Poland.

Data on other markets

We found very little information available about their Comics production, likely in the hundreds of titles per year. 

Publishers: often very few, sometimes barely any. 

Turnover: very small share of total market, in most cases <2% (there are exceptions).

Market overview: niche market, mostly based on imported titles. 

The level of digitization is very low. 

Preliminary results of the qualitative questionnaire: 

Digital presence and strategy: Digital presence and marketing but little if any digital products and sales.

Plans to go digital: There is an intention, provided the conditions are ripe.

Attitude towards digital: Positive but cautious; purely digital option not seen as viable

Challenges and opportunities of going digital: Readers’ attachment to paper (collectors), piracy, business models, risk of wrong placement of product (digital media), webtoons; still a potential opportunity. 

Possible use for a dedicated platform: They expect a platform that would be accessible, fair, effective, technologically supportive. 

Preliminary remarks

  • Data collection

Eudicom Project encounter difficulties in finding data and in comparing different countries. We plan to continue or effort throughout the project and we welcome input from all interested stakeholders. 

  • The market

The digital market for comics is very small, there is a huge opportunity for growth if the demand is there, a largely untapped potential. There is potential for our platform to provide support in tapping this potential and there is a risk that non-European players fill that void. 

Italian comic books in numbers: the production

  • 265 actives publishers
  • 2,904 new releases in 2019
  • Average price: 14.07 €
  • 28,023 books in commerce

Italian comic books in numbers: digital production

  • 603 digital new releases 
  • 21% of printed titles
  • + 63% compared to 2019
  • Average price: 9.3 €
  • 67% of the printed version
  • 3,776 digital books in commerce
  • 13% of printed titles)
  • + 38% compared to 2019

Total sales 2020 in book trade channels: 43 million €

+42% vs. 2019

This does not include sales in «fumetterie», newsstands and during fairs and events

Boom in last 2-3 years of comics books series sold in bundle with newspapers

Polish comics market in numbers

  • 2019 – 1144 titles published
  • 2020 – 1032 titles published
  • It’s 10 times more than 20 years ago, and 3 times more than 10 years ago. 
  • In recent years, more comics have been published in Poland each year than in the entire communist period combined.
  • More than 40 publishers.
  • One big corporate entity – Egmont that has 25-30% of the market. 
  • Two manga publishers who each has 13-15% of the market. 
  • Ten more publishers who each has 2-3% of the market. 
  • Publishers specialized in comic book types – european comics, american comics, manga, polish comics, graphic novels.

Digital comics in Poland

  • Fledgling market.
  • Some suspended experiments in the past years.
  • Manga publishers developing their own platforms – Studio JG (more than 100 titles), Waneko (40-50 titles), JPF (2).  
  • One publisher participating in the European platform with polish comics in English – timof comics in Europe Comics.

Spanish book market 2019

Total new titles:

  • Paper 60,737
  • Electronic 21,607
  • New comic titles:
  • Paper 3,243
  • Electronic 289

Turnover (domestic market; VAT included):

  • Global 2,421 million €
  • Comic 63 million €

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