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The global comic book market size was valued at USD 15.35 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 16.05 billion in 2023 to USD 22.37 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.85% during the forecast period.
The growing production of comics with engaging stories and attractive graphics to help illustrate the content is driving the popularity of comics worldwide. These books help readers improve their vocabulary, improve their creativity, and build a strong value system through a positive message. These books are available in different genres, such as fantasy, noir, romance, science, and others.
Government initiatives to promote comics to help children become more interested in reading and improve their learning abilities have played a crucial role in accelerating the market growth. For instance, Indian news media company NDTV revealed that in March 2021, 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 auctions. This factor has encouraged fans worldwide to invest in unique and rare comics, thereby driving the sales for manga.
COVID-19 Pandemic Caused Surge in Online Activity Boosting Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a notable surge in online activity among the global population, which led more people to read comics on various online platforms during their leisure time. As per data released by Live Mint in March 2020, COVID-19-induced lockdowns encouraged people to spend more time indoors, leading to an increase in the usage of mobile apps, books, and comics. It was also observed that mobile browsing activity grew by about 40%.
Nowadays, people are obsessed with Artificial Intelligence (AI), and companies are developing an AI image generator, which operates by responding to text prompts from the user to publish comics. This new art-making AI has opened novel means for generating previously unimaginable content and speeding up the production of unique comics. This new development will surge the demand for comics globally 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 comics will be exclusively available on Diamond Comic Distributors.
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Collaborative Work to Make Enriching Content Will Surge Demand for Comics
A rising number of collaborations are taking place between brands to create more appealing comic content that can 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 in 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 positively 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 data presented by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the global smartphone shipment volume increased by 73.6 million units in 2021 as compared to 2020. Hence, the rising smartphone penetration will likely increase readers’ 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 adoption of smartphones might increase the consumers’ spending on print and digital comics and favor the global market growth.
Adoption of Digital Technology to Fuel Consumption of Comic Content
Digital technology is experiencing robust adoption in this industry, thereby playing a significant role in improving the consumption of comic content. This is because readers can easily access their favorite comics globally through digital technology. For instance, Eudicom data shows that in 2020, Italy released 609 digital comics, which was a rise of 63% from 2019. In addition, the rising number of children using 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 had smartphones, indicating ample potential for adopting digital comic content in the region. These aspects will boost the use of digital technologies to gain access to high-quality comic content.
Wide Availability of Substitute Products to Restrain Market Progress
The growing preference for audiobooks among the U.S. readers is hampering the market growth in the U.S. Audiobooks have gained significant popularity in the last few years, and the lockdown has only increased the demand for these books among people. The ease of accessibility to a vast range of comics for physically-disabled and non-English speaking groups is boosting the demand for audiobooks. However, this factor is limiting the growth of the market. Also, stiff competition from the unorganized industry players with competitive pricing may impact the key companies' product revenues and hamper the market growth. Therefore, the higher cost of comics and availability of alternate mediums are some of the significant factors limiting the industry development.
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Physical Comic Segment to Dominate Owing to The Trend of Collecting Comic Books
Based on product type, the market is divided into physical comic and digital comic. The physical comic segment holds a significant market share due to the rising number of comic events and the increased spending of customers on the subscription-based model will likely increase the comic books demand globally. Furthermore, the rising number of comic book collectors is also contributing to the growth of the physical comic segment. These collectors have a vast knowledge of comics and a massive collection, fetching huge profits at auction. This has encouraged fans worldwide to invest in unique and rare comics and collect comics as a hobby and for trading spurposes to earn monetary profit.
The digital comic segment is expected to grow considerably due to the rise in penetration of smartphones, iPads, and tablets among individuals, which has forced comic book publishers to innovate and seek digital space for the characters, further driving the market growth.
Adults Segment to Dominate Market Due to Growing 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 2023-2030. Adults with a hobby of reading manga can enhance their creativity, which helps them enhance their mental and physical health.
Many adult collectors have a hobby of reading and collecting rare and unique comic magazines and books. They buy multiple copies of new books and preserve them for collecting purposes to gain monetary profits.
On the other hand, the kids segment has experienced notable growth as these comics offer various benefits, such as providing struggling children with reading confidence, increasing inference capabilities, improving vocabulary, and many others.
Growing Number of Book Outlets to Boost Book Stores Segment Growth
Based on distribution channel, the market is segmented into book stores, comic stores, online stores, and others. The book stores segment holds a major share of the market owing to the wide availability of comic books by different authors and publishers. Furthermore, most individuals visit book stores as it provides supporting staff which provide customers with proper recommendations regarding the wide range of stories under every genre.
The online stores segment is likely to hold a significant share of the market over the forecast period owing to the ease and convenience offered by online purchasing options. Moreover, online payment applications such as Google Pay, Amazon-pay, and others, have provided robust payment gateway systems that have also supported online shopping activities. Options, such as online buying & home delivery, and online buying & store pickup are gaining consumers’ attention as they can save time and energy. The free home delivery facility offered by certain online retailers is also attracting 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, 2022 (USD Billion)
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The regional comic book market analysis includes North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa.
The Asia Pacific region accounts for the largest share and is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period. The anime industry in Japan is growing at a commendable pace due to rising consumption among domestic and international consumers. In 2018, the Japanese anime industry experienced a growth of 15.1%, as per the Association of Japanese Animation. The robust growth of e-commerce companies has positively impacted the adoption of comic magazines and books among consumers.
The European market is anticipated to display significant growth during the assessment period, owing to the growing production of comic books in the EU countries. As per 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 every year. 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 the regional comic sales during the forecast period.
North America is the second largest comics market in the world. The vast presence of comic book stores has played an important role in boosting the product’s sales in the region. For instance, according to data issued by Publisher Weekly in 2020, the direct market had 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 comic distributor in North America. 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 bolster this industry’s growth. In 2021, the event hosted in the country drew nearly 262,000 visitors, making it the world’s biggest Comic Con Experience. These comic con events bring together publishers to create games and associated merchandise to build a large supply network. This factor is projected to drive the market growth in South America.
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Middle East & Africa region is estimated to grab a notable share in the market by 2028. The booming growth of the urban population resulted in advancements in education, boosting people’s interest in reading and helping increase the region's market share. As per the World Bank, the urban population in South Africa accounted for over 67.35% in 2020, up from 66.86% in 2019.
Collaborations and Partnerships Are Key Strategies Fueling Industry Growth
Key players in the market are progressively focusing on launching new superhero characters, which allows them to attract more customers and boost product sales. It also helps companies diversify their portfolios 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 aims to expand into the culinary space to develop its food-centric ‘Eat the Universe’ brand.
An Infographic Representation of Comic Book Market
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The global market research report provides a detailed analysis of the global comic book industry 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’s growth in recent years.
CAGR of 4.85% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
By Product Type
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights research reports that the global market size was USD 15.35 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 22.37 billion by 2030.
In 2022, the North America market value stood at USD 3.34 billion.
The market will exhibit a CAGR of 4.85% during the forecast period of 2023-2030.
The physical comic segment is projected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
The growing efforts to enhance comic content made by key players is a 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 2022.
The robust growth of digital technologies is expected to drive the adoption of this product.
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