Summary of our market study

The global comics market, including manga and comics, was valued at $12.12 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2022 to 2028, with Asia-Pacific accounting for 41.26% of the market share. Despite a slight sales decline of 3% between 2021 and 2022 in France, the French market maintains robust growth, particularly in manga sales which continue to grow by 2% in 2022. In 2022, comics represented 25.2% of the total book sales volume in France, up from 16%. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly boosted the digital market, which saw its share surge to 40% of sales in 2022, compared to 11.10%. Market structure consists of authors, publishers, distributors, and retailers, including e-commerce giants like Amazon and Fnac. Seasonal sales increases are notable in December and summer months, and the comics value chain spans from authors to retailers, with digital formats gaining momentum among readers. Despite overall market growth, individual authors face income disparities, with a significant percentage earning below the minimum wage in France. Best-selling titles in 2022 reflect the strong market presence of manga, with series volumes often outselling newer releases.

Navigating the Ebb and Flow of the Graphic Storytelling Market

In the vibrant market of graphic storytelling, encompassing comics, mangas, and graphic novels, a consistent growth trajectory seems to lie ahead. With a compound annual growth rate looming at approximately 5-10% from the early 2020s through to the latter end of the decade, the industry's strength appears notably resilient. The heartland of this narrative art form, Asia, effortlessly clinches over a third of the global market share, while North America and Europe follow suit with roughly a quarter each. The allure of manga has been especially pronounced, boasting a growth spurt of nearly 10% in a single year, riding on the coattails of a double-digit increase seen in previous years. It's fascinating to note that comics now comprise a substantial portion of the total book sales volumes—hovering around the mid-20% range—an uptick from the modest 10-20% mark just a few years prior. Zeroing in on France, a sparkling star in Europe's comic scene despite a minimal contraction between consecutive years, there's a pattern of thriving success.

The sales of mangas continue to climb by a small percentage following years of impressive growth. With thousands of new comic books hitting the shelves annually, series like Asterix become instant bestsellers with every new installment. However, this proliferation also creates a crowded marketplace, making it challenging for authors to carve out a substantial living. The vast majority of comic book purchasers belong to more affluent socio-professional categories, with men representing a near-equal share. Interestingly, comic book fans tend to be younger than those of other literary genres, with a notable age difference when compared to readers of the broader literary spectrum. Furthermore, the decision to purchase comics often springs instantly at the point of sale, likely due to older readers' financial independence.

Yet, despite this vibrancy, the comics industry wasn't immune to the challenges of the digital age, nor to the constraints imposed by the pandemic. E-commerce quickly eclipsed physical stores during lockdowns, with a staggering 100% increase recorded for digital books in one instance. But traditionalists need not worry—physical comics continue their reign supreme, with a near totality of readers still favoring paper over pixels. The mainstays of purchase are, traditionally, the bookstores themselves, although alternative channels are burgeoning, particularly online platforms designed to augment the reach of independent outlets. It's a cyclical feast, with market demand soaring in.

Key Titans of the Comic Book Industry

The comic book landscape is populated by a host of influential publishers, each playing a pivotal role in the creation, dissemination, and popularization of beloved titles that span across various genres—from superheroes to manga, graphic novels to classic series. Below, we delve into the profiles of some principal enterprises that shape the colorful world of comics.

  • Media Participations: The Diverse Powerhouse Media Participations stands tall as a Franco-Belgian publishing giant, housing an impressive array of comic imprints and subsidiaries under its wing. The group is known for an eclectic offering, ranging from the international sensation of "Blake et Mortimer" to household favorites like "Spirou," "Gaston Lagaffe," and "Les Tuniques Bleues." Through its presence in the manga sphere with publishing houses like Kana, Media Participations embraces the fervor for Japanese storytelling, further exemplifying its diverse portfolio.
  • Delcourt Group: The French Innovator Groupe Delcourt is a name synonymous with innovation in the French comic scene. With a vast repository that includes French titles like "Les 5 terres," as well as globally recognized series such as "The Walking Dead," Delcourt has shown an aptitude for bridging cultural gaps. The acquisition of publishing house Soleil has only broadened its influence, with both publishers sharing a zeal for uncovering new talent and narratives.
  • Glénat: The Champion of Manga and Adventure French publisher Glénat is a significant contributor to the vibrancy of the comics and manga market. Glénat's dedication to the art of storytelling is unmistakable, with a robust catalog that features titans like "One Piece" and "Dragon Ball Z." This publisher has carved out a stalwart position by offering content that resonates with both the young and the young at heart.
  • Éditions Albert René: Protector of the Gaulish Legacy Éditions Albert René has a more focused but no less impactful place in the comic market, serving as the custodian of the "Asterix" series. Founded by "Asterix" co-creator Albert Uderzo, this publishing house oversees the continuation of the Gallic warrior’s adventures—a legacy that endures as a cornerstone of not just French, but global comic heritage.
  • Casterman: The Home of Iconic Characters Casterman brings to life timeless tales that have stood the test of time, such as "Les Aventures de Tintin"
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  • Number of pages : ~ 40 pages
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  • Last update : 02/02/2023
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Comics are a form of storytelling that uses a succession of drawn images, including the words, feelings or thoughts of the protagonists within the bubbles. halfway between literary and graphic art, it is often considered the ninth art form. There are many different types of comics, including manga, comics, children's comics, heritage comics and graphic novels.

The global comics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% between 2022 and 2028, with a significant concentration of sales in Asia. The market is also growing strongly in France, and although sales fell slightly by 3% between 2021 and 2022, this decline should be put into perspective after the record year of 2021, which benefited from the release of the new Asterix album. Manga sales have also continued to grow, by 2% this year, following on from double-digit growth in the late 2010s (+11% between 2018 and 2019). By 2022, comics accounted for 25.2% of total book sales volume, a significant increase on 2018, when comics represented just 16% of total book sales volume.

More than 5,000 comic books are released in France every year, reaching every audience. Some series, like Asterix , produce bestsellers with each new volume. However, this overproduction is also leading to a precarious situation for authors who, drowned in the flood of new releases, find it hard to make a living from their work.

The main players in the market are authors, publishers, distributors and distributors and, on the sales side, bookshops and large multimedia chains. E-commerce players such as Amazon and Fnac are also taking a growing share of the market.

Despite a book market that has been at half-mast for several years, the comics segment is very dynamic, with new trends driving the market, such as manga, graphic novels and digital books.moreover, with the declining interest of younger generations in reading, comics are emerging as an important vector for the democratization of literature.

Digital books should also represent an opportunity for the sector, as works are less expensive and can be distributed more cheaply. Self-publishing, for example, is facilitated by the development of digital media.

Last but not least, demand is cyclical, with sales rising sharply in December for the festive season and in July for the summer vacations.

1.2 The growing global market

The global comics market (***) was worth $**.** billion in ****, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of *.*% between **** and ****, reaching $**.** billion by the end of the period.

evolution of the global comics market World, ****-*****, in billions of dollars Source: ****

Geographical distribution is fairly uneven, withAsia-Pacific accounting for **.**% of the market, ...

1.3 The French market is doing well

In the publishing sector, the comics market stands out for its extremely dynamic growth in both volume and value.

sales trends in volume and value France, ****-****, in millions of euros and copies sold Source: ****

In ****, the most dynamic segment is Manga, with growth of *% compared to ****. Sales of children's comics ...

1.4 Bookstore closures during confinement

The comics market was heavily impacted during the confinement with the closure of bookshops. As a result, e-commerce took over as the main distribution channel, and many releases were postponed.

Book publishing sales index France, ****-****, index base *** **** Source: ****

Book publishing in the broadest sense saw a **.*% drop from March **** compared ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 A younger, more affluent clientele than for other literary genres

A higher proportion of comic book buyers are in the CSP+ bracket and have children than for other literary genres. This is primarily due to the fact that comics are aimed at a younger audience than literature. **% of comic book purchases in **** involved parents buying for their children.

Furthermore, men represent ...

2.2 Reader motivation and consumption habits

There are several criteria for choosing a comic book, and different factors can influence consumers. On average, there are *.* selection criteria.

Younger readers give priority to the characters (***).

Choice criteria France, ****, percentage of comics readers Source: ****

The decision to buy a comic book takes place both before the point of sale ...

2.3 Digital as the future of the sector?

Digital comics account for an ever-increasing share of the market, and have become an integral part of consumers' reading habits.

Thus, **% of *-** year-olds and **% of **-** year-olds also read comics in digital format. However, comics in paper format are still in the majority, with **% of *-** year-olds and **% of **-** ...

2.4 The cyclical nature of demand

Demand for comics is particularly strong in the run-up to Christmas. According to Gfk, December accounted for **% of annual volumes of comics sold in ****. Summer is also a key period, with June, July and August accounting for over **% of sales volumes. We can see these trends again by analyzing the Google ...

3 Market structure

3.1 The comics value chain

Authors and illustrators are at the start of the value chain, creating the work that is then passed on to publishers. Publishers take charge of book production, selecting the comics. They then subcontract the printing, and market the titles to distribution networks. The aim of distribution is to promote the titles ...

3.2 Comic book publishing

The comics publishing market is constantly evolving, and albums from the same series are not all published by the same publisher. For example, the Asterix volumes were first published by Dargaud, before moving on to Hachette and Editions Albert René. Lucky Luke comics also passed through Dupuis, Dargaud and finally Lucky ...

3.3 Comic book distribution channels

In terms of distribution, small bookshops remain the segment with the highest concentration of sales, ahead of specialist superstores such as Cultura or Furet du Nord. Hypermarkets and supermarkets remain a minority distribution channel. The graph below shows the purchasing habits of the French, with all the different channels tending to ...

3.4 Authors struggle to make their mark

The comics industry takes on very different realities for each author, depending on their popularity. According to SalaireMoyen, the average salary for comics authors was **,*** euros in ****. These figures need to be put into perspective,however, as salary inequalities are very high among artistic professions, and these figures are taken fromINSEE ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Comics, a market with multiple products

The comics market is segmented according to the genres read and purchased. A distinction is made between

Manga: Japanese comics which, by extension, can be used to refer to all works that meet the same standards. They are read from right to left, and have a distinctive black-and-white pictorial style; Comics: ...

4.2 Best sellers of 2022

Le monde sans fin is the best-selling album of **** (***), with ***,*** copies sold.

Source: ****

Prices are governed by the law on the single price of books. Books cannot be sold at different prices depending on the distributor, and promotions are limited in order to protect independent booksellers whose room for maneuver is ...

4.3 Comic book price trends

In France, the prices of paper books and digital books (***) have moved in opposite directions. While the price of paper books has risen steadily, the price of digital books has fallen drastically.

Consumer price index for books France, ****-****, index base *** **** Source: ****

The book price index has been on the rise ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Regulatory framework in France

VAT rates

Comics meet the tax definition of a book: "a book is defined as a printed set, illustrated or not, published under a title, the purpose of which is the reproduction of a work of the mind by one or more authors for the purposes of teaching, the dissemination of ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

6.2. Study of company websites

Web traffic for the main players in the comics market France, ****-****, in thousands of visits Source: ****

  • Media Participations
  • Glénat
  • Delcourt Groupe
  • Editions Albert René (Hachette Groupe)
  • Delsol Diffusion
  • Interforum (Editis Groupe)
  • Gibert Joseph
  • Furet du Nord Decitre (Nosoli)
  • Fnac Darty

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Trends in the global comics market
  • Sales in volume and value
  • Book publishing sales index
  • Age of comic book buyers, compared with other literary genres
  • Trend in the number of comic book readers
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Latest news

FNAC Darty increasingly driven by services - 23/02/2024
  • - FNAC Darty sales in 2023: 7.9 billion euros, down 0.9
  • - Services account for 15% of group sales
  • - Darty Max subscription reaches 1.1 million subscribers, an increase of 300,000 subscribers over one year
  • - Target of 2 million subscribers for Darty Max by 2025
  • - Group repaired 2.5 million products in 2023
  • - Joint venture with Ceva, "Weavenn", aims to generate 200 million euros in sales and a double-digit operating margin within 5 years
Webtoon: Media Participation's Ono platform joins forces with Korean studio - 29/11/2023
  • Ono is the platform of France's third-largest publishing company, Média-Participations.
  • Ono moves into the original territory of the webtoon.
  • Onovient joins forces with Kenaz, South Korea's largest independent webtoon producer Creation of a 50/50 joint venture
  • Kenaz works with over 400 creators worldwide.
  • Kenaz supplies content to various international clients, including Piccoma (Kakao), Webtoon (Naver), Apple Books (Japan and USA) and ByteDance (TikTok) in China.
  • Ono plans to produce webtoons in France in the coming months.
  • Translation and lettering costs from Korean to French are three times higher than the purchase of rights for Ono.
  • The Ono platform, launched eight months ago, boasts over 250,000 downloads.
  • Ono's ambition is to become the third major player in the sector in Europe, behind Naver and Piccoma.
  • Ono's catalog of web series will total 300 by the end of the year.
  • Ono has acquired some 50 series from Verytoon and 100 from Delitoon.
  • Ono plans to offer manga on their platform early next year.
Asterix, Hachette's cash machine - 26/10/2023
  • The 40th album in the Asterix saga comes out this Thursday with a print run of 5 million copies, of which over 2 million are destined for France and over 1 million for Germany.
  • Total sales of Asterix approach 400 million copies, a volume unmatched in French publishing.
  • The Asterix franchise was acquired by Hachette in the late 2000s
  • Since 2013, Hachette has opted for a release every two years.
  • Since 2013, each new album has sold between 1.69 million and 1.83 million units in France. And even 2.3 million if you include all albums sold through all sales channels and export sales.
  • The very first Asterix album, "Asterix the Gaul", published in 1961, still sells 40,000 copies a year in France.
  • The Asterix license generates royalties through various adaptations into video games, Playmobil, films, series and more.
  • Alain Chabat's film "Mission Cléopâtre" was a box-office hit, with almost 15 million tickets sold in France. He is currently working on an animated series for Netflix.
Asterix back in bookstores: crazy figures for a cult comic strip - 26/10/2023
  • 40 volumes of Asterix have been published since the Gallic warrior first appeared in 1959.
  • 5 million copies are printed per adventure, including 2 million for the French-speaking market.
  • Asterix has been translated into 117 languages
  • Around 1,750,000 copies of each new album were sold in France in the year of release.
  • The remaining 250,000 copies in French were sold in Belgium and Switzerland.
  • A total of 393 million copies of Asterix have been sold, making it the world's best-selling comic book (excluding manga).
  • 41 million of these albums were sold in France and French-speaking countries.
Fnac Darty completes acquisition of MediaMarkt in Portugal - 08/10/2023
  • Fnac Darty has announced its intention to acquire Media Markt in Portugal
  • Media Markt has 10 stores in Portugal.
  • The company has 450 employees.
  • Media Markt's sales in its 2021-2022 financial year were around €140 million.
  • The acquisition consolidates Fnac Darty's number-two position in the Portuguese market.
  • Media Markt's activities in Portugal will be 100% consolidated in Fnac Darty's accounts from October 1, 2023.
Carrefour wants to compete with Mirakl, the marketplace specialist | Fnac Darty fights Mirakl - 06/10/2023
  • Fnac.com and Darty.com account for 21% of Fnac Darty Group sales.
  • Third-party merchants on these sites account for 20% of the group's online business.
  • fnac Darty recorded a net loss of 163 million euros in the first half of 2023.
  • Ceva Logistics, Fnac Darty's partner, achieved sales of $19 billion in 2022.
  • Ceva has 1,300 logistics sites in 170 countries.
  • Fnac Darty has 1,000 stores for order collection.
  • The e-commerce logistics market is estimated at $80 billion.
  • The market for the creation of marketplaces is estimated at $30 billion.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Media Participations
Glénat
Delcourt Groupe
Editions Albert René (Hachette Groupe)
Delsol Diffusion
Interforum (Editis Groupe)
Gibert Joseph
Furet du Nord Decitre (Nosoli)
Fnac Darty

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