The Japanese digital publishing market has been soaring to new heights on the worldwide stage, thanks to hundreds of companies releasing apps and developing new business models. According to a new research report by Statista, Japanese readers have spent the most money on e-books per individual user, around $86.50. Following closely behind are digital readers in the U.K. who have spent on average $84.00. Today, we are going to take a look at all of the top news coming out of Japan.
In June, Softbank launched a new service called Book Unlimited. The platform has 130 Japanese magazines and over 1,000 digital comics. The first month is free and after that is 500 yen per month.
The company has just released apps for iOS and Android in the last few weeks and thousands of users have been attracted to the platform.
Toshiba Book Place
Toshiba has been operating their own online digital bookstore since 2011 called Bookplace. They initially co-developed it with a company called BookLive, but two years later Toshiba started a new in-house project called “BookPlace Cloud Innovations” which was designed to replace BookPlace . The main premise behind the re-brand was to focus on the Japanese market. All good things must come to an end, Toshiba just emailed all their customers saying the store has closed and all of the customers have been transferred to a new company called U-Next.
Honto gaining 1 million new users a year
The Honto digital bookstore launched in May 2012 and was one of the first players to capitalize on the entire e-book revolution. The company recently proclaimed that they are garnering close to one million new customers a year. Their research also said that 80% of all of their purchased stem from men and women between the ages of 20-40.
NTT DoCoMo Magazine Service is a success
NTT DoCoMo launched a streaming digital magazine service in early 2014 and it gives users access to 139 magazines for 400 yen. You could say this whole endeavor was a success, as the company has announced that they have two million paid users.
Assassination Classroom will have a spin-off series
Anime News Network reported that Kizuku Watanabe and Jo Aoto will be launching “Koro-sensei Q!” (“Quest”) in the November issue of Shueisha’s Saikyo Jump magazine on Friday. It will be a spin-off series based on Yusei Matsui’s “Assassination Classroom” manga. The original manga sold over 5,231,158 copies from November 17, 2014 to May 17, 2015.
Shonen starts Manga workshop
Think you’ve got what it takes to be a manga artist? If so, the editors at Shonen Sunday would like to see your work! Starting on October 11, Shonen Sunday will hold a series of manga workshops across Japan to examine aspiring artists’ manga and give them expert feedback. Especially promising work will be granted an “encouragement prize” and entered into a competition. Winners of this competition will get 300,000 yen (US$2,487) for the bronze award, 500,000 yen (US$4,146) for the silver award, and 1,000,000 yen (US$8,292) for the gold award. The gold award winner’s manga will also be printed in Weekly Shonen Sunday or Shonen Sunday S.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.