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The global comic book market size was valued at USD 14.69 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 15.35 billion in 2022 to USD 21.37 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been staggering and unprecedented, with comic books experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our global comic book market analysis, the market exhibited a rise of 12.30% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
The growing production of comics with fascinating stories and attractive graphics to help illustrate the content is driving the popularity of comic books worldwide. These books help readers improve their vocabulary, place their minds in a wonderful imaginary land, and mold values through a positive message. Such products are available in different genres such as fantasy, noir, romance, science, and others. Growing government initiatives to promote comics to help children become more interested in reading and advance their education have played a crucial role in escalating market growth. For instance, the data published by NDTV in March 2021 shows that the Union Education Minister of India launched 100 comics created by teachers and students of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools.
The rising number of comic book collectors is also contributing to the market growth. These collectors have a vast knowledge and a massive collection of comics, fetching them huge profits at auction. This factor has encouraged fans worldwide to invest in unique and rare comics, thereby driving manga sales.
Surging Internet-based Activities Amid COVID-19 Pandemic to Bolster Market Growth
The outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in surging online activity among the global population, which has led more people to consume comic book during their leisure time. As per the data released by Live Mint in March 2020, COVID-19-induced lockdowns encouraged people to spend more time indoors, which led to an upsurge in the usage of mobile apps, books, comics, and others. It was also observed that mobile browsing activity escalated by about 40%.
Nowadays, people are obsessed with Artificial Intelligence (AI), and companies are adapting an AI image generator, which operates by responding to text prompts from the user to publish comics. This new art-making AI opens new means for generating previously unimaginable content and speeding up comic production. This new development will surge the demand for comics worldwide in the coming years.
In June 2022, Living the Line Books announced the world’s first AI-Illustrated comic book, Abolition of the Man, in collaboration with MidJourney AI, an AI image-generation system. The comic will be exclusively available on Diamond Comic Distributors.
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Collaborative Work for Enrichment of Content to Surge Demand
A rising number of collaborative efforts are being made between brands to create more appealing comic content that can better grab consumers' attention. For instance, in May 2022, Marvel launched the digital NFT comic Amazing Spider-Man in partnership with VeVe, a digital collectibles app. This limited edition comic is distributed among different levels of rarities such as common, uncommon, rare, ultra rare, and secret rare.
Rising Popularity of Comic Events to Aid Market Growth
The growing popularity of comic events, such as Comic-Con, has played a major role in influencing the adoption of comics among people. For instance, the San Diego Convention Center data issued in 2021 demonstrates that over 150,000 attendees attended the New York Comic-Con event, whereas the Japan Comiket event recorded around 111,000 attendees.
According to the data presented by International Data Corporation (IDC), global smartphone shipment volume increased by 73.6 million units in 2021 compared to 2020. Hence, rising smartphone penetration will likely increase the global population’s need to buy and read books through online platforms, thereby supporting the demand for comic magazines and books. Smartphones have become essential devices for shopping and entertainment. Rising smartphone penetration will likely increase the consumers’ spending on print and digital comics and favor market growth worldwide.
Adoption of Digital Technology to Fuel Comic Content Consumption
Digital technology is experiencing an escalating adoption in the comics industry, playing a significant role in surging comic content consumption. This is due to easier access for readers to their favorite comics globally through digital technology. For instance, Eudicom data shows that in 2020, Italy released 609 digital comics, which is a rise of 63% from 2019. In addition, the rising number of children possessing their smartphones is likely to propel the consumption of digital comics. According to surveyed data released by National Public Radio in October 2019, over half of the children in America now have smartphones, indicating ample potential for adopting digital comic content in the region.
Wide Availability of Substitute Products to Restrain Market Progress
The growing preference for audiobooks among U.S. readers is hampering the market growth of comic books in the U.S. Audiobooks have gained popularity in the last few years, and the lockdown has only increased the demand for audiobooks among people. The ease of accessibility for physically-disabled and non-English speaking groups is increasing the audiobook demand. Comics are not available as audiobooks such as fiction and non-fiction books. This factor is limiting the growth of the market worldwide. Also, massive competition from the unorganized industry players with competitive pricing impacts the key companies' product revenues and hampers market growth. Therefore, the higher cost of comics is a significant factor limiting the market growth.
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Physical Comic Segment to Dominate Owing to Comics Collection Trends
The market is divided into physical comics and digital comics on the basis of product type.
The digital comic segment is projected to grow significantly during the forecast period. Although the overall digital penetration in the sector is very low at present projects, such as the Angouleme International Comics Festival, co-funded by the creative group program of the EU, aim to strengthen the digital dimension of the European market growth by supporting European publishers to adopt digital mediums. Such efforts may supplement the digital type of comics.
On the other hand, the physical comic segment is expected to dominate due to the easy availability of the format, tactile experience, and economical prices. Another added benefit of the format is its easy choice for collectors ready to invest in comics as a hobby and for trade purposes to gain monetary profit.
Adults Segment to Dominate Attributable to Larger Inclination Toward Reading Comics
Based on end-user, the global market is segmented into kids and adults. The adults segment is estimated to be the leading segment from 2022-2029. Adults with a hobby of reading manga tend to revisit their long-lasting imagination and experience stress relief. It allows them to utilize their creativity and thoughts while taking care of their health mentally and emotionally, even if it’s just a means of escape from their everyday struggles.
Many adult collectors have a hobby of not only reading comic magazines and books but also collecting them. The collectors buy multiple copies of new books and preserve them for collecting purposes to gain monetary profits.
On the other hand, the kid's segment has also progressively experienced growth due to its benefits such as providing struggling children with reading confidence, increasing child inference, increasing child’s vocabulary, and many others.
Book Stores Segment to Hold the Largest Market Share Owing to Significant Number of Book Outlets
The market is segmented into bookstores, comic stores, online stores, and others based on the distribution channels.
Online buying and home delivery, as well as online buying and store pickup options that save consumers time, are gaining consumer attention. The free home delivery facility offered by certain online retailers also attracts consumers. It also provides increased access to certain limited editions that are not available at nearby offline stores. Unlike offline stores, where there are restrictions on store opening-closing timings, it enables consumers to shop at any given time.
Asia Pacific Comic Book Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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Asia Pacific dominated the market with the highest comic book market share, boasting USD 7.60 billion valuations in 2021. The flourishing growth of the anime industry in Japan among domestic and international consumers has boosted the regional market growth. In 2018, the Japanese anime industry experienced a growth of 15.1%, as per the Association of Japanese Animation. The rising growth of e-commerce businesses has positively impacted comic magazine and book adoption among consumers. As per United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), consumer e-commerce sales in Japan generated USD 163 billion, while China recorded gains worth USD 1,361 billion.
The European market is anticipated to display significant growth during the assessment period, owing to the escalating production of comic books among the EU countries. As per the data released by Aldus, in February 2021, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain produced about 3,000 to 4,000 new comic magazines and book titles yearly. In addition, the high employment rate among the youth population will lead to increased spending on comics. World Bank data from 2019 shows the youth unemployment rate in the European Union was around 16.83%, compared to more than 18.02% in the previous year. Since younger individuals consume more comic content than older adults, this factor will play a pivotal role in augmenting regional comic sales over the forecast duration.
North America is one of the second biggest comic markets worldwide. The presence of comic book stores has played an important role in mushrooming the product’s sales in the region. For instance, according to data issued by Publisher Weekly in 2020, the direct market is a network of around 2,000 independent comic magazines and book shops alone in the U.S. These comic shops buy mostly non-returnable products at wholesale prices from Diamond Comics Distributors, the largest North American comic distributor. These stores sell a mix of traditional periodical comics, prose books, and graphic novels.
In Brazil, multiple fairs and events, such as São Paulo Comic Con Experience (CCXP), the biggest comic event in South America are likely to attract this industry’s growth. In 2021, the event hosted in the country drew an incredible 262,000 visitors, the world’s biggest Comic Con Experience. These comic con events or comic conventions bring together publishers of comics and books to games and associated merchandise to build a large supply industry. This factor is projected to drive market growth in South America.
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The Middle East & Africa is estimated to grab a notable share in the market by 2028. The booming growth of the urban population resulted in the advancement of education, boosting more people interested in reading and helping to increase the region's comic magazines and book market growth. As per the World Bank, the urban population in South Africa accounted for over 67.35% in 2020, up from 66.86% in 2019.
KEY INDUSTRY PLAYERS
Collaboration and Partnership are the Key Strategies Fueling the Industry Growth
Key players are progressively focusing on launching new superhero characters, which allows them to attract more customers and boost product sales. It also helps companies to diversify their portfolio and target new fan bases. For instance, in August 2022, Marvel launched a new hero, Anna Ameyama, with a brand new infinity comic, T.E.S.T. Kitchen. The comic book includes a recipe in every issue. The launch by the company is to expand into the culinary space and to develop its food-centric Eat the Universe Brand.
LIST OF KEY COMPANIES PROFILED:
KEY INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS:
An Infographic Representation of Comic Book Market
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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the global market and focuses on key aspects such as key companies, end-users, and leading product types. In addition, the report offers in-depth insights into the current comic book market trends and highlights major industry developments. Further, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market growth in recent years.
Report Scope & Segmentation
Value (USD Billion)
By Product Type
By Distribution Channel
North America (By Product Type, End-user, Distribution Channel, and Country)
Europe (By Product Type, End-user, Distribution Channel, and Country)
Asia Pacific (By Product Type, End-user, Distribution Channel, and Country)
South America (By Product Type, End-user, Distribution Channel, and Country)
Middle East & Africa (By Product Type, End-user, Distribution Channel, and Country)
Fortune Business Insights research reports that the global market size was USD 14.69 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 21.37 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the Asia Pacific market value stood at USD 7.60 billion.
The market will exhibit a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period (2022-2029).
The physical comic segment is projected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
The growing enhancement of content made by key players is the major factor driving the market growth.
Marvel Comics (New York, U.S.), DC Comics, Inc (CA, U.S.), Dark Horse Comics (Oregon, U.S.), Image Comics (Oregon, U.S.), Akita Publishing Co., Ltd (Tokyo, Japan), and others are a few of the major players in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2021.
The rising growth of digital technology is expected to drive the adoption of the product.
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