Marvel’s unit market share sets modern record

The Diamond charts for September 2008 are out today, and while I will have them here soon, I wanted to produce a supporting document to something mentioned in Michael Doran’s Newsarama piece: whether Marvel’s topping of 50% in the Final Pieces Sold Unit Share category represents a first in the post-bankruptcy era.

I don’t often work with the unit share figure as when you’re dealing with comics and trades mixed, dollars are more relevant — but as far back as the info at my fingertips goes, this appears to check out. Marvel topped 48% several times — hitting 48.96% in March 2005 — but never 50%. The below list shows the #1 Unit Sales Share publisher for each month, back to February 2003 when Diamond converted to Final Order reporting for everything.

TOP FINAL UNIT SHARES
Feb-03 • Marvel • 32.48%
Mar-03 • Marvel • 39.05%
Apr-03 • Marvel • 38.87%
May-03 • Marvel • 41.82%
Jun-03 • Marvel • 41.46%
Jul-03 • Marvel • 40.70%
Aug-03 • Marvel • 37.84%
Sep-03 • Marvel • 40.70%
Oct-03 • Marvel • 40.94%
Nov-03 • Marvel • 41.82%
Dec-03 • Marvel • 40.11%
Jan-04 • Marvel • 48.20%
Feb-04 • Marvel • 43.86%
Mar-04 • Marvel • 37.68%
Apr-04 • Marvel • 45.49%
May-04 • Marvel • 34.92%
Jun-04 • Marvel • 40.56%
Jul-04 • Marvel • 41.01%
Aug-04 • Marvel • 43.20%
Sep-04 • Marvel • 45.67%
Oct-04 • Marvel • 42.99%
Nov-04 • Marvel • 43.13%
Dec-04 • Marvel • 44.01%
Jan-05 • Marvel • 46.81%
Feb-05 • Marvel • 45.06%
Mar-05 • Marvel • 48.96%
Apr-05 • Marvel • 35.62%
May-05 • DC • 41.03%
Jun-05 • Marvel • 41.12%
Jul-05 • Marvel • 43.45%
Aug-05 • Marvel • 41.16%
Sep-05 • Marvel • 44.17%
Oct-05 • DC • 39.12%
Nov-05 • Marvel • 42.70%
Dec-05 • Marvel • 44.84%
Jan-06 • Marvel • 42.17%
Feb-06 • Marvel • 45.30%
Mar-06 • Marvel • 42.83%
Apr-06 • Marvel • 43.93%
May-06 • DC • 41.18%
Jun-06 • Marvel • 42.61%
Jul-06 • Marvel • 44.30%
Aug-06 • Marvel • 41.04%
Sep-06 • Marvel • 45.76%
Oct-06 • Marvel • 42.70%
Nov-06 • Marvel • 44.10%
Dec-06 • Marvel • 43.35%
Jan-07 • Marvel • 44.79%
Feb-07 • Marvel • 47.38%
Mar-07 • Marvel • 46.46%
Apr-07 • Marvel • 37.62%
May-07 • Marvel • 46.60%
Jun-07 • Marvel • 48.42%
Jul-07 • Marvel • 47.69%
Aug-07 • Marvel • 45.61%
Sep-07 • Marvel • 42.82%
Oct-07 • DC • 38.98%
Nov-07 • Marvel • 42.03%
Dec-07 • Marvel • 42.75%
Jan-08 • Marvel • 48.41%
Feb-08 • Marvel • 41.97%
Mar-08 • Marvel • 43.52%
Apr-08 • Marvel • 44.16%
May-08 • Marvel • 47.56%
Jun-08 • Marvel • 48.39%
Jul-08 • Marvel • 43.55%
Aug-08 • Marvel • 48.09%
Sep-08 • Marvel • 50.92%

I have the previous Unit Shares, but not electronically — again, they’re not the most useful figure. But my guess would be that Marvel did not top the 50% level in the 1998-2002 period — it having many fewer trade paperback titles than DC in that time.

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