DC Comics: The New 52!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Lessons of C2E2- The Focus Groups

Our visit to Chicago actually consisted of a great deal more than just attending the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. The primary focus, at least for us, was the education available at the Diamond Retailer Summit: Focus on Retailing.
This helpful summit included many aspects of day to day retailing including "Best Practices" Merchandising Tips, Independent Retailers Working Together to Promote Community, and Boosting Business with Online Technologies. The information was presented in a Roundtable Focus Group Format, in which three teams rotated every hour to attend each panel. This gave each team ample time for Q & A sessions with publishers, authors and editors.
I personally got a lot out of the address given by keynote speaker Ted Adams, CEO of IDW Publishing. I felt he had the most intimidating task- to address the growing anxiety of retailers regarding the digital distribution of media. His Topic- "Will Digital Media Destroy Traditional Publishing?"
A compelling speaker, Mr. Adams used sales data from 2009 to answer this question. As of the end of 2009, digital media distribution had increased dramatically. However, in analyzing the pure numbers, he revealed that digital media distribution accounted for only 1% of the company's yearly revenue. Clearly traditional publishing was in no immediate danger! He even went so far as to suggest that some customers may "discover" their favorite titles online, and then migrate toward purchasing the print version for their collections. An interesting theory, and presented in a way that seemed to alleviate the retailer's concerns.

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