The digital manga magazine Shonen Jump went to simultaneous publication with Japan in January, and now the magazine has reached another milestone: It is available for iPad and iPad Mini via the Apple Newsstand.
This offers readers three ways to buy the magazine: On the Viz Manga website, for 99 cents per issue or $25.99 per year, or via the Newsstand for $2.99 per month (automatically renewed). The nice thing about the Newsstand is that it gathers all your regularly updated apps into one place so you can check them all at once, and updates come in automatically. (Newsstand subscribers will also be able to read their issues on the Viz Manga website.)
Viz has been steadily expanding the reach of Shonen Jump since taking the magazine from print to digital in January 2012. While the Newsstand offers additional convenience and a price point that is cheaper than single issues (albeit more expensive than an annual subscription), the real significance of this move may lie in the words of Gagan Singh, Viz’s executive vice president for digital business, in the press release that announced this latest move: “The Newsstand App lays the groundwork for future expansion of the magazine and offers our fans yet another way to access their favorite manga.”
That raises some interesting possibilities. As a fan of Viz’s shoujo (girls’) comics, I’d love to see them bring back Shoujo Beat magazine in digital form, and with their wide range of properties, Viz could put together some pretty interesting digital packages.