Japanese e-book Sales Rose By Nearly 15% in 2016
No, print isn’t dead… but it isn’t the only game in town. The e-book market has been rising steadily in recent years, and in Japan it’s especially notable. In 2016, Japan’s e-book industry garnered $22 million — a 13.2% increase from previous years.
Many major companies, such as Kadokawa and Hobby Japan, have digital manga distribution sites. Additionally, more niche websites — such as Osoroshi Ya, which offers exclusively horror manga — have been popping up, allowing readers to surf in a more curated environment and find interesting titles more readily.
The popularity of web manga alone is evident when looking at recent anime adaptations. Multiple titles on Crunchyroll — including Please tell me! Galko-chan and Spiritpact — are based on web manga. Even major titles, like the new Hunter x Hunter, are going to the web prior to print release.
Many publications in Japan are going digital in recent years. As for publishing houses, the fifth largest, Taiyo-Sya, declared bankruptcy in 2016.
Despite this, the print publishing industry is still going strong. Even after a 0.7% drop, it’s still worth $6.4 billion — almost 3,000 times more lucrative than digital books and manga. Nonetheless, digital is definitely on the rise, and the loss of Taiyo-Sya may lead to even more digital-only (or digital-first) titles this year.
Source: Good e-Reader