Posted by on Jun 12, 2012 in Digital, Thrillbent | 47 Comments

Thrillbent has been up about six weeks. Several Forum members, fellow webcomics creators and Twitterers have asked about some of the site stats, so FWIW, here’s what we’ve seen.  This will be dull for most of you but spellbinding to data nerds like myself, trust me.

On average, visitors spend 3 minutes, 10 seconds per visit to Thrillbent. That sounds about right to me. That’ll increase as we increase content.

Sixty-one percent of our traffic is referral traffic. Most of it comes from this site, then from Facebook, then Reddit, then Bleeding Cool.

Fully half our mobile traffic is viewed at 768 x 1024 resolution (iPads). Another quarter of our mobile visitors view Thrillbent at 320 x 480 (split evenly between Androids and iPhones), and the rest of you are all over the map. One of you tried viewing it at 480 x 266 on what I can only presume is a repurposed Philco television set.

Sixty-four percent of our traffic is from the U.S, 8% from the U.K., 7% from Canada, and then in diminishing order, Brazil (!), Australia, France, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Mexico. Brazilians love Thrillbent.

Outside of the places on Earth from where no one’s (yet) bothered to look for us, the record for least amount of time spent on our site goes to Bicske, Hungary–one guy swung by for 16 seconds. He wouldn’t last long in Brazil.

Someone explain Brazil to me. This is fascinating.

 

47 Comments

  1. Adriano Ariganello
    June 12, 2012

    Thanks for sharing this data, Mark. It’s very interesting.

    Most interesting of all, to me at least, is that nearly half viewed your site using the iPad. I’m using an Android tablet when I check out Thrillbent (from Canada), but I prefer reading from the PDFs you’ve made available.

    Any data on the rate of people reading off the site and those downloading the CBZ / PDF formats? Is there a big difference?

    I know nothing of Brazil though.

    Reply
  2. Don Garvey
    June 12, 2012

    I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on why you have such a large mobile/tablet demographic.

    I don’t believe it can be attributed to your existing success and name brand – I would think that would be reflected in overall hits, not in the type of devices that readers use to come to your site.

    I wonder if the “guided view” approach is more comfortable to mobile device users, combined with the fact that there are no reloads from page to page.

    Reply
    • ZiggyB
      June 15, 2012

      I, too, am surprised by the high mobile/tablet numbers. Mainly because of my own experience.

      Maybe iPads handle this site better than my Android tablet’s browser does, but I have found reading Insufferable very troublesome on the tablet. I get accidental scrolls, delays when swiping, all sorts of stuff. I download the CBZs so I can read those on the tablet.

      But like I said, every browser is different and iPads may work just fine. I still think there should be less vertical content on story pages to avoid the accidental scrolling though.

      Reply
  3. Luis Escobar
    June 12, 2012

    Holy Cow! I can’t believe you posted that. Great read.

    Dito on the Brazil thing. Not a clue.

    Reply
  4. Josh Henaman
    June 12, 2012

    As a developing market (one of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China,) Brazil is big in the creative arts (and especially comics.) I saw this when I was first looking for an artist and received more than half of my responses from Brazil. It’s a good foreign market to keep tabs on… and cater to.

    Now the big question is what can be done with all the data? Since you’re solely working the digital market with this, it might be easier to respond to your audience (introduce a Brazilian character, a locale or even a villian… or even go with a Portuguese/Spanish translation first.) Think of it as the “South Park” vs. “Simpsons” approach. With South park, since they are entirely computer generated, they are in the unique position to change (adapt) an entire program in a matter of days, while the Simpsons would take months to make any changes. Thus, South Park seems more timely and “of the moment.” Since there should be no lag time for printing, Thrillbent can take advantage of that aspect.

    The big question is how do you break into the Chinese market?

    Reply
    • Steve Broome
      June 12, 2012

      “introduce a Brazilian character, a locale or even a villian…”

      Hahah that’s what digital comics need, more pandering.

      Reply
      • Josh Henaman
        June 12, 2012

        It’s not pandering. It’s knowing your audience. Rule #1 of marketing… Know your audience. “Introducing a Brazilian character, locale, etc.” is a simplified way of saying it, but it really doesn’t have to be something that on the nose. You’re not creating comics in a void, so you have to ask, “What’s driving people to my site.” Rule #2… Give ’em what they need. What’s driving them? Great stories, high adventure and maybe… just maybe… something they can relate to.

        Reply
        • Steve Broome
          June 12, 2012

          Stat: Most visitors are using iPads.
          Creative response: Have your characters use iPads!

          FYI what you’re describing is in fact pandering and it’s a horrible idea to create content based on analytics. You know who does that? Big Hollywood studios that have study groups and then decide what the story and cast should be based on their feedback.

          Reply
          • Josh Henaman
            June 12, 2012

            But it’s not a horrible idea to understand your audience. Creating art for art’s sake is a noble quality, but if you want to be successfull and marry art with commerce, then you’ll definitely want to take into account the analytics. I agree, changing your story based solely on those analytics is bad and creatively deadening, but it makes sense to understand what hits, what misses and why nobody’s returning. Market research.

          • Josh Henaman
            June 12, 2012

            Or in other words… Stat: Most visitors are using iPads. Creative response… Optimize your content so that it looks killer in that format.

  5. Buddy Scalera
    June 12, 2012

    Mark,

    I think the raw data is very interesting.

    Looking forward, it would be interesting to see how you are measuring other key performance indicators (KPIs). That is, identify KPIs that map the user journey that leads to a conversion goal (e.g., registration, purchase, etc.).

    I wrote a blog post about this very topic recently and would love to analyze your data through a marketing lens to see who’s coming to the site, from where, and what they are doing.

    Bravo to you for releasing your numbers. That’s a brave and rare thing.

    Buddy
    http://wordspicturesweb.com/2012/04/09/measuring-roi-social-media-marketing/

    Reply
  6. Steve Broome
    June 12, 2012

    I’d be interesetd in seeing how your bounce rates differ for various installments of your story. The audience capacity for longform content is an interesting study when it comes to digital comics.

    Reply
  7. JP
    June 12, 2012

    Borderline had a number of features on Brazilian comics years ago. Issues #3, #4 and #7 – links from the right-hand side of Phill Hall’s blog @ http://farkynell2.blogspot.co.uk/

    Reply
  8. Drunken Fist
    June 12, 2012

    The Brazil thing cracked me up, because the very same thing has been going on with my own blog since its inception. While I’m sure I get nowhere near as much traffic, Brazil ranks just behind the US, Canada, and the U.K. on my blog. I’ve been mystified over it, but it seems it’s not an isolated occurrence!

    Reply
  9. Esteban Pedreros
    June 12, 2012

    Translations would be a good idea. If you are not considering licensing the comics to other countries, you’d atract more people who can’t read english (duh!).
    I can only guess about Brazil (I’m from Chile), but since they have an enormous amount of talented profesionals working in the US market, there’s probably more interest in the site because of that… besides… there are 190 million brazillians, a little more than half of the US population, and 80 million more inhabitants than Mexico. I’m sure some of them like comics.

    Reply
  10. James Hansard
    June 12, 2012

    Don’t forget New Zealand. At least one of us if from the other land downunder! 🙂

    Reply
  11. Graeme McMillan
    June 13, 2012

    Part of me wonders if the Brazil numbers are actually Brazilian readers, or IP re-routers for some reason. I don’t know why, I’m just suspicious for some reason (Then again, a lot of the illegal comic-scan-and-share blogs seem to be Brazilian too, so maybe there’s just a huge market for comics there).

    As to the “why so many mobile” question, I know that – for me, at least – the comics read better on mobile, in terms of experience. The physical swipe is more satisfying than clicking the arrow…

    Reply
  12. Esteban Pedreros
    June 13, 2012

    One gets an IP re-router when one can’t watch a video or access a website because there is content exclusive to a certain region.
    i.e. I spent hours looking for way to watch the Unstaged Jack White Concert, because it wasn’t available in Chile. Vevo can be like that

    Reply
  13. Lachlan
    June 13, 2012

    Alright, Australia represent! Surprised we made it in the Top 5.

    Reply
  14. Rich Johnston
    June 14, 2012

    I want to use that as a reference quote…

    Reply
  15. Pablo Casado
    June 14, 2012

    Hi, Mark. One of your Brazilian’s readers here.

    Mr. McMillan was the one who pointed something true to us down here: we have a lot of comic scans blogs and foruns translating American comics (and Japanese as well).

    BUT: Brazil have a pretty solid market for Marvel and DC comics for ages, surpassed only by Monica’s Gang and some manga titles. Most of the monthly comics by the Big Two are published here, with only one year apart from what comes out there in US. So yes, American comics are pretty much common to us as comic readers.

    And, of course, you’re one of our favorite writers: Kingdon Come, your Flash’s run and others works are really apreciated. In fact, it surprises me that you don’t know that – and as Pedreros said, we have a lot os talented artists working for Marvel and DC. Should be a surprise that we want to buy what they make for you guys? 😉

    When you have the oportunity, ask Matt Fraction, Kelly Sue and CB Cebulski about their time here last year, during our comics festival called FIQ. Maybe you should come next year and fell the love yourself.

    Reply
    • Mark Waid
      June 14, 2012

      Cool. Thanks for the response! Please understand I meant no offense–I was genuinely curious, and I honestly had no idea there was such a large following in Brazil–thanks for letting me know! Now to book a convention…!

      Reply
  16. Eduardo
    June 14, 2012

    We don’t need to “relate” to anything, you tell your story we might like it or not, we might relate with it or not, but we’ll definetly stop reading if we’re forced to relate to anything. That’s how stories should work. Brazil has the bigest comic convention in america. ( http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/12/12/biggest-comic-convention-america-south-america/ ) It’s called FIQ and happens every 2 years here in Belo Horizonte. And the country has a growing number of readers. It will be even bigger in the near future. We’re not an exotic land, it’s a good country with a bunch of author struggling to make their comics get to as many people as possible. Just like anywhere else.

    Reply
    • Mark Waid
      June 14, 2012

      So noted. No offense intended! Was just genuinely curious–thanks for opening my eyes to FIQ!

      Reply
  17. Hector Lima
    June 14, 2012

    It’s because we are many and love you, Mark. Also, maybe because a lot of your Marvel work has been published here – legally. The scan argument sounds a bit ridiculous (some might feel even ofensive).

    Reply
    • Mark Waid
      June 14, 2012

      I should build a keyboard macro to autotype the words “I meant no offense.”

      Looking at foreign royalty statements from DC, I can see now that Brazil is a major market. Marvel provides no such statements (or royalties), so I was unaware–but thanks for letting me know! Not to speak for him, but I’m sure Graeme meant no offense, either. I LOVE learning about my readers!

      Reply
      • Hector Lima
        June 14, 2012

        You know how those things go, Mark: most people are aware of their nation’s problems, but they don’t like when others mention them. =)

        sorry for over-reacting.

        thanks a lot for the reply and the courtesy. hope to see you down in Brazil some day!

        Reply
      • Esteban Pedreros
        June 14, 2012

        Mark, they are replying to Graeme, not you (I think). There was nothing offensive about you post.

        Reply
    • Ivan Antonio
      June 14, 2012

      C’mon Hector, you know it’s true.

      Reply
  18. Eduardo
    June 14, 2012

    What do the following names have in common?

    Rafael Albuquerque, Rafael Grampá, Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá, Mike Deodato, Ivan Reis, Renato Guedes, Luke Ross, Roger Cruz, Greg Tocchini, João Ruas, Mateus Santolouco, etc.

    That’s right, they’re all brazilian, and guess what again, they’re all international superstars (on various levels) past and present working mostly (maybe ONLY even) for the american market. And that not to mention FIQ, a bi-annual comic convention that last year had a public attendance that in its 7th edition surpassed the largest San Diego one.

    Now you’re seriously asking what’s with the “brazil thing”?

    Reply
    • Mark Waid
      June 14, 2012

      You’re right. You’re absolutely right. And there are at least three artists on that list that I’d give anything to collaborate with. Man, I have GOT to get to FIQ!

      Reply
      • Felipe 5 Horas
        June 14, 2012

        Brazil owns the largest number of creators who answer by “Rafael” than any other country in the world. True story.

        Reply
        • Eduardo
          June 14, 2012

          that’s very true.

          Rafael Albuquerque, Rafael Grampá, Raphael Salimena, Rafael Sica, Rafael Coutinho and those are the most known ones, there’s also a bunch of “smaller” creators just starting and it’s another herd of Rafas =P

          and Mark, you should TOTALLY go to FIQ, it’s the most fun and we knew from the creators in person how it really was their favorite show. contact Ivan Costa (@Ivan_Costa), he’s responsible for the international contacts, he travels all around the world building a strong network of people that might want to attend FIQ

          Reply
    • Steve Broome
      June 14, 2012

      Grampa might be the most underrated artist in comics.

      Reply
      • Roquenrou
        June 14, 2012

        Haha, are you for real? He’s done nothing other than like a dozen pages and some covers since Mesmo Delivery came out in 2008. If anything, he’s the most overrated Brazilian comic artist right now, living off an old, single glory.

        Reply
        • Mark Waid
          June 14, 2012

          Ouch. Curious now. I gotta go investigate this guy’s work. (And keep it civil, folks!)

          Reply
          • Esteban Pedreros
            June 14, 2012

            Check out Mesmo Delivery. Dark Horse published that book in English, he also contributed to the Strange Tales anthology from Marvel.

        • Steve Broome
          June 14, 2012

          I hear people say the same thing about Travis Charest. Certain level work cannnot be done quickly.

          Reply
        • Esteban Pedreros
          June 14, 2012

          Well, it’s not like we are waiting for a book that he never delivers… as far as I know his comicbook work is not his day job.

          Reply
    • Scott Story
      June 14, 2012

      Let us not forget the greatly missed Al Rio. I’ve always said that Brazil makes hot comic artists like Texas makes hot guitarists.

      Reply
  19. Felipe 5 Horas
    June 14, 2012

    Hello, Mr. Waid.

    I´m proud to say that I am Brazilian and co-owner of Kokocast. Kokocast is a weblog about comic books in general — Brazilian comics, American comics, underground comics, European BD, Japanese Mangá, Italian fumetti etc.

    Brazilian market is still “under construction”, which means that neither Brazilian authors, nor the public can easily classify it. Recently — and by recently I mean no more than 5 years — there has been a large growth in the Brazilian independant and underground scene. Many author who also happen to work for Marvel and DC have their side projects that is sold to the Brazilian public — the most well-known case is, probally, the twin brothers Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá.

    The biggest comic-book related event in Brazil, FIQ 2011 — which stands for “Festival Internacional de Quadrinhos” and can be translated into International Comic Book Festival — was held in Belo Horizonte last year and there were more than 140 thousand attendees (http://bit.ly/M0Zw66). The subject that was discussed the most there was not DC comics reboot. Instead, people were talking about the power of the independent market. There were literally hundreds of creators there — many of those unkown to most of the public –, some of them releasing their comic books, some just taking part and giving autographs to the public.

    Since very early, Kokocast decided that we would give extra support to independent creators. We´ve been working and traveling with the solo purpose of finding more information about this huge yet unkown market. One of my partners, Barba Magnética, was in the Fan Expo Canada last year and for the first time we had a glimpse of the amount of independant work we could help. Later on, this year, both Barba Magnética and Marcos Paulo — the third partner in our group — traveled to Europe and the conclusions we get from this is but one: the independent market is going to save the comic book industry. There is so much foreign work that regular Brazilians just don´t know — most of the time due to the fact that our main language is Portuguese and most schools in Brazil don´t have a good enough English education, let alone French, Italian and others.

    When we first heard about what happened at WonderCon, we got immensely excited about it and have been trying to follow the progress this gesture has created in the American market. We announced Thrillbent in our blog (http://bit.ly/KwniJv) and translated many independent related articles, like Mark Andrew Smith´s A to B Manifesto (http://bit.ly/MCXTrS) and Sean Murphy´s 5-year plan (http://bit.ly/Nlhof5). We have been trying to raise the discussion in Brazil as well as we did with two important Brazilian creators (here: http://bit.ly/M7BKU8).

    It would be absurd to say that Kokocast is the responsible for the number of daily Brazilian visitors that read Thrillbent — many other Brazilian comic-book-related websites, some of them much more famous than Kokocast, have also announced Thrillbent. But the fact is that Brazilians are trying to embrace the underground and independent culture and production. Your words at WonderCon made many realize that the most important is not the money that comes from one´s creation; the most important is to have the creation out there, talking straight to the reader.

    And, I´m sure that Brazilians would love to have you here in a convention some day.
    (Sorry about the long comment. There was a lot to be told…)

    Reply
    • Mark Waid
      June 14, 2012

      Don’t you dare apologize! That was fascinating! And thanks for the kind words and for all the support–do stay in touch!

      Reply
  20. Ivan Antonio
    June 14, 2012

    Brazilian here.

    As Esteban said, there are 190 million Brazilians. Some of them like comics. Most of those like their comics to be free of charge. Comics piracy is pretty big around here (well, ANYTHING piracy, really).

    If you’re offering comics for free, expect Brazilians to come knocking at your door.

    Brazil has a good number of comic-book blogs that report on the industry (lots of those unfortunately just translate Newsarama, CBR or Bleeding Cool articles). Even the mainstream media recently went nuts about the gay GL thing. Mr. Waid’s digital exploits are receiving decent coverage around here. Plus, there is a good number of English-speaking Brazilians that just go straight to the sources.

    Personally speaking, I’m am a fan of Mr. Waid’s work and I recently went full digital in my comic-book consuming habits. The New 52’s same day digital policy was a huge deal for me, since I refuse to pirate comics. DC and Marvel are licensed in Brazil through Panini, but they’re usually one full year behind the U.S. schedule. So it was my best chance to be able to keep up with what’s being published without resorting to piracy.

    After going full digital with the New 52 I also got the chance to buy independent stuff that never gets licensed here. So my comic reading habits also expanded with this move.

    The only problem is that I’m paying in dollars now, which makes prices a bit steep for me due to exchange rates. I’m not reading all I wanted to, but it’s still a lot more than I would if I had only Panini to go to,

    So, to sum up: You’re offering free comics. Some Brazilians like comics. All Brazilians like free stuff. Most Brazilians who like comics also have internet access. So there ya go.

    PS: Esteban, I was recently in Chile and I had the chance to pick-up some Condorito comics. Man, I love that stuff!

    Reply
    • Josh Henaman
      June 14, 2012

      Exchange rates. That’s something that never occurred to me when the talk of digital comics first started up. I have a hard time paying print prices for digital books as-is. Jack it up due to the exchange rate and I can understand the frustration. I think it’s another tip of the hat to Mark and the argument for the $.99 price-point.

      Reply
    • Esteban Pedreros
      June 14, 2012

      Jajajaja, excellent!!. I love the old ones, it’s not the same since Televisa bought the rights.

      Reply
  21. Pablo Casado
    June 14, 2012

    Hope you can come to FIQ next year or another one, as an official guest or not. It’s gonna worth it, you bet.

    Reply
  22. Kent
    July 4, 2012

    All this about Brazilian comic fans is interesting. I knew from my own involvement in Perry Rhodan fandom that there’s a thriving science-fiction fandom down there. In fact, a good number of the Perry Rhodan blogs that I have linked from my own are by Brazilian fans (the others, of course, are German, the language of PR’s origin).

    Cheers,

    Kent
    http://perryrhodanreadingproject.blogspot.com/

    Reply

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