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The global comic book market size was USD 8.49 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 9.21 billion in 2021 to USD 12.81 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 4.8% during the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been staggering and unprecedented, with comic book witnessing a positive demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a stellar growth rate of 12% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The sudden drop in CAGR is attributable to the declining product demand and market growth returning to pre-pandemic levels once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
The growing production of comics with fascinating stories and attractive graphics to help illustrate the content is driving the popularity of comics worldwide. These books help readers improve their vocabulary, place the mind in a wonderful imaginary land, and mold values through a positive message. Such products are available in different genres such as fantasy, detective, 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 the 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.
Surging Internet-based Activities Amid COVID-19 Pandemic to Bolster the Market
The outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in surging online activity among the global population, which has led more people to consume comic content during their leisure time. As per the data released by Live Mint in March 2020, COVID-19-induced lockdowns are encouraging 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%.
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Collaborative Work for Enrichment of Content to Boost Comic Book Demand
Rising number of collaborative effort is being made between brands to create more appealing comic content that can better grab consumers' attention. For instance, Global News Wire reported in July 2019 that Archie Comics and Genius Brands International are partnering to launch comics based on the Stan Lee Universe. Such collaborations are anticipated to have a vital impact in increasing the sales of comic books, both physical and digital, among the global population.
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 July 2019 demonstrates that the 50th annual Comic-Con held at its center recorded over 135,000 attendees.
The popularity of superhero comic brands is progressively attaining traction owing to the increasing number of movies and cartoon series made, which is likely to fuel the market growth. For instance, data released by Forbes in January 2020 mentions that ‘Marvel,’ The Walt Disney Company-owned comic brand and DC Comics Inc. hold the topmost positions in the U.S. industry. These are the two giant superhero comic publishers capturing the comics industry.
Adoption of Digital Technology to Fuel Comic Content Consumption
Digital technology is experiencing an escalating adoption in this industry, playing a significant role in surging comic content consumption. This is due to easier access for readers to their favorite comics across the globe 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 the National Public Radio in October 2019, over half of the children in America now have their smartphones, indicating ample potential for adopting digital comic content in the region.
Wide Availability of Substitute Products to Restrain the Market
Alternatives to comics such as fiction and non-fiction books increasingly capturing the book market have decreased demand for comics in some regions. Similarly, the limited availability of adult comic content is hampering adoption among the adult population, affecting the market forecast to some extent.
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Comic Book Collection Trend to Make Physical Segment to Dominate the Market
The market is divided into physical comic and digital comic on the basis of product type analysis.
The physical segment is projected to be the prominent global industry shareholder during the forecast period. This is because many consumers like to not only consume comic content but also collect and preserve it. In addition to these factors, the increasing popularity of pawnshops that offer high prices for valuable comics will also boost the demand for physical products.
On the other hand, the digital comic segment will experience steady growth in the market due to easy assessability from any part of the world through the internet. Similarly, the growing smartphone ownership rate among the global population will increase this segment's growth.
Larger Inclination Toward Reading Comics Results in Male Segment to Dominate the Market
Based on end-user, the global market is segmented into males and females. The male segment is estimated to be the leading segment over 2021-2028. This is because most popular products present in the market have male-oriented content such as superhero, science-fiction, action, and others. In addition, a larger number of men involved in creating comic content has played a crucial role in the dominance of the male segment. For instance, Beat Comic Culture reported in 2018 that around 86.3% of writers and over 61.5% of editors at DC Comics, Inc. were men.
On the other hand, the female segment has also progressively experienced growth due to increasing female character-centered comics. This includes Batwoman, Black Widow, Super Girl, and Wonder Woman.
Significant Number of Book Outlets Results in Book Stores Segment to Hold the Largest Market Share
The market is segmented into book stores, comic stores, online stores, and others based on the distribution channel.
Book stores are anticipated to hold the largest comic book market share as they continue to be the primary outlets for comics worldwide. Furthermore, regular provision of discounted books by such stores is further driving the book stores segment growth.
Nevertheless, comic stores, online sales, and others have witnessed steady growth. This is due to the presence of many comic stores, especially in developed countries. In addition, quick and easy access to the latest product launches online stores will boost online comic content consumption.
Asia Pacific Comic Book Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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Asia Pacific holds the dominant market share in this industry, boasting USD 4.01 billion valuations in 2020. 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 had a positive impact in accelerating comic book adoption among consumers. As per 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 book titles yearly. In addition to this, the low unemployment 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 the regional comic sales over the forecast duration.
North America is projected to have a robust presence in the global market. The presence of many comic stores in this region has played a crucial role in bolstering the product's sales. Data issued by Publisher Weekly in February 2019 shows that the United States has about 2,000 direct market comic shops. Besides, the high household spending on children among the American population acts as an impetus to the comic consumption rate. American Progress reported back in June 2019 that nearly 5.1 million families in the U.S. spend an average of USD 250 on child care weekly.
Rising number of internet users and expanding exposure to multiple types of comics among comic enthusiasts are mainly driving the South America market growth. As per the statistical information published by the World Bank Group, the percentage of internet users in Brazil increased from 67.47% of the total population in 2017 to that of 70.43% in 2018.
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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 comic book market growth in the region. As per the World Bank, the urban population in South Africa accounted for over 67.35% in 2020, up from 66.86% in 2019.
Collaboration and Partnership are the Key Strategies Fueling the Industry Growth
The key players in the comic book industry focus on establishing collaborations with entertainment-related companies to promote their products. Additionally, they establish partnerships with the leading distributors to expand their business. For instance, Oni Press, an American independent comic & novel book publisher, partnered with DC Comics Inc. and Lunar Distribution to expand its comics and novels supply chain in North America.
An Infographic Representation of Comic Book Market
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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the global market and focuses on key aspects such as key companies, end-users, and leading product type areas. 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.
Value (USD Billion)
By Product Type
By Distribution Channel
North America (By Product Type, End-User, Distribution Channel, and by Country)
Europe (By Product Type, End-User, Distribution Channel, and by Country)
Asia Pacific (By Product Type, End-User, Distribution Channel, and by Country)
South America (By Product Type, End-User, Distribution Channel, and by Country)
The Middle East and Africa (By Product Type, End-User, Distribution Channel, and by Country)
Fortune Business Insights research reports that the global market size was USD 8.49 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 12.81 billion by 2028.
In 2020, the North America market value stood at USD 1.39 billion.
The market will exhibit a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period (2021-2028).
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 2020.
The rising growth of digital technology is expected to drive the adoption of the product.
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