Japan: Free Online Manga Browsing Helps Sell Printed Publications
MangaBox was launched in December last year by the major social media game producer DeNA Co. and three publishers, including Kodansha Co. Users can read each manga for free for a fixed period by using smartphone and tablet apps. At the moment, the magazine carries about 40 manga, which are read by more than 1 million people every week.
In March, a website called ComicWalker was launched by publishing house Kadokawa Corp., which has since integrated business with Dwango Corp. On the website, people can read about 200 manga for free, including such popular works as “Shinseiki Evangelion” (Neon Genesis Evangelion). The service provider’s goal is to gain a monthly readership of about 1 million.
How is it possible for companies to offer manga for free?
As an increasing number of people have been known to buy printed manga publications after reading some of the contents online for free, publishers believe this is a big business opportunity.
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More News From Japan
The outlook for the domestic market in Japanese-made electronic-book readers has become darker with the recent announcement by Toshiba Corp. that it will stop manufacturing e-book readers. The announcement followed the departure of all other major Japanese electronics makers from the market.
The electronics makers’ failure in the market has been attributed to putting e-book readers on the back burner while smartphones and foreign companies’ products, such as Kindle of Amazon.com Inc. of the United States, have been aggressively marketed.
Japanese electronics makers have shifted their focus to e-book distribution services, but the business will likely face problems.
Article Includes Chart of Major Ebook Readers From Japanese Companies
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.