IDW Publishing posted another massive loss in the third fiscal quarter that just ended July 31, 2018. The publishing division lost $801,000 in the third fiscal quarter according to the IDW Media Holdings Quarterly Report.
On the bright side, this loss is improved from the same fiscal quarter from 2017 where they saw a loss of $1.1 million.
IDW Publishing did see their total revenue increase from the same fiscal quarter year ago. In this most recent report their total revenue was $5.59 million up from $5.42 million the same time last year. However, comic and graphic novel revenue decreased by $173,000. They attributed this decrease “to continued industry cyclical downward pressure driven by market leaders, as well as the timing of significant major brand titles.” Not only was comic and graphic novel revenue down, but so was their digital publishing, which decreased by $102,000. They blame the decrease on “the timing of its digital revenue sources.”
IDW Publisher and President Greg Goldstein previously put the blame on a cyclical industry downturn in an interview with ICv2:
“I think they’re cyclical. Like you, I’ve been in this business forever. John Barber was quoted recently saying that people have been predicting the end of comics since 1945, [laughs] and we’re now in 2018.”
While digital, comics, and graphic novels were down, IDW did see increase in growth in its IDW Games revenue. Revenues increased by $166,000. It also saw an increase in its licensing revenue by $246,000. There was also $38 revenue increases “based upon the timing of these other revenue sources.”
In the past nine months IDW Publishing has lost $2.5 million.
IDW Entertainment which leverages the IDW Publishing content into television and movies also saw a huge loss in the third quarter of $746,000. IDW Entertainment revenues decreased $2.7 million from the same period last year. They put the decrease on “lower foreign licensing revenue and the timing of revenue for delivered television episodes.” ICv2 notes IDW Entertainment will need “new bank financing for $23.5 million in production costs.” They also recently took out $5 million bridge loan from Chairman Howard Jonas in August. They are currently working on new episodes of Wynonna Earp, V-War, and October Faction. They also plan to work on a pilot for Brooklyn Animal Control and look to go into production on Locke & Key in February.
With the addition of this new loan IDW Media Holding’s for future maturities under the term loans is at a total of $21.4 million.
IDW Media Holdings which houses both IDW Publishing, IDW Entertainment, and CTM Media Group, which does brochure and digital publishing as well as advertising-based products, saw a combined operation loss of $461,000 across all its division. Last year during this same quarter they saw a profit of $143,000. Overall revenues for IDW Media Holding also decline. In the third quarter of 2017, the company brought in $16.7 million. This year, they only brought in $14.2 million. Most of that revenue loss comes from the $2.7 million decrease at IDW Entertainment.
While IDW Publishing and IDW Entertainment don’t look very sturdy, CTM Media Group did turn a $943,000 profit. It’s a huge turnaround from last year’s third quarter where it lost $950,000.
YouTuber That Umbrella Guy highlights just how awful this new report is for not only IDW, but for the comic book industry as a whole.
One thing appears to be clear is that IDW Publishing has a huge problem on its hands and if IDW is right in its explanation, it’s a cyclical industry wide downturn. Do you believe that? Do you think the comic book industry is in a cyclical downturn or do you think its more of a secular downturn that will remain constant into the future?