After six straight years of staggering growth, digital comic sales dropped last year, according to data from ICv2, a website that tracks pop culture business trends. Digital comics sales totaled $70 million in 2012 and jumped to $100 million in 2014, but fell to $90 million last year. During the same period, print sales increased from $805 million in 2012 to $1 billion in 2015. That marks the first time the industry has exceeded $1 billion in print sales.
“Digital is actually helping the comic book stores,” said Sarah Titus, who owns The Comic Book Shop with husband Patrick. “It has exposed readers to newer content with free first issues, and then those readers come to the bookstore because they want to buy the rest of the series or find something similar.”
Store owners and readers say customers are willing to sacrifice the ease of digital downloads in favor of the social interaction that occurs at the neighborhood shop.
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