On January 20th, the NPD Group announced their acquisition of Neilsen U.S. market information for the book industry. The acquisition includes U.S.-based BookScan, PubTrack™ Digital, PubTrack™ Higher Education, PubTrack™ Christian, Books & Consumers™, PubEasy®, and PubNet®. The NPD Group provides marketing information and business solutions on the world's leading brands including apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, diamonds, e-commerce, entertainment, food consumption and services, home, and now books and e-books.
With this acquisition, the NPD Group will offer sales tracking for physical and digital books along with buyer demographics and insights into print and digital trends. BookScan tracks approximately 85 percent of U.S. retail sales of physical books, making them the larges point-of-sale tracking service for English-language books in the country; and PubTrack Digital provides comprehensive views of the digital market based on information from 30+ publishers. PubTrack™ Higher Education, PubTrack™ Christian, Books & Consumers™, PubEasy®, and PubNet® are all niche tracking services that will also be NPD-branded services in the U.S.
Now, according to an interview with NPD Book Executive Director, Business Development Kristen McLean and ICv2, NPD Bookscan has plans to put the comics and graphi novel business at the center of a new initiative to track pop culture brands.
"We are very excited about Comics and Graphic Novels here at NPD." McLean tol ICv2. "In the coming year, NPD BookScan and the larger NPD Books Group is putting Comics and Graphic Novels at the center of a big initiative that includes projects like adding Local Comic Shop data to BookScan in partnership with Diamond Comics and the indie retailers, and developing a new License Reporting Service in BookScan that will allow many types of licenses and IP franchises including Comic franchises to be tracked and trended in BookScan for the first time."
"This will mean that for the first time, someone who is interested in seeing how Batman is doing can look at the brand health of Batman across all publishers and books being sold in BookScan." McLean continued. "Eventually, our vision will be to expand that view to include other entertainment categories like toys, gaming, and movies/home entertainment."
With today's highly visual and media-saturated culture, the pop-culture appeal has grown year-over-year, capturing the interest of a new generation of consumers. This growth has seen an average rate of 15% over the last years, and signifies a substantial potential for profit with no foreseeable signs of slowing down.
"The Comic & Graphic Novel category is one of the most dynamic we’ve been watching on the trade side of the book business, and we’re really interested in understanding how all the parts of the Comic & Graphic Novel market are coming together." said McLean.