Line is a popular messaging app in Japan where users can enjoy games, fortune telling and even enjoy discount coupons! Since 2012, Line has accumulated over 120 million users!
In 2013 Line Corporation added a brand new service to it’s list: Line Manga. Yes, the company entered the mobile e-book business for IOS and Android devices, being backed up by some of the biggest publishers such as Shueish, Shogakukan and Kodansha, to name a few. With already 30,000 manga readily available, Line users can buy manga using virtual coins that can be earned in a variety of different ways, the most common being to simply share the manga you are reading to your Time Line which can earn you up to 10 coins per share, once per day. The first ten pages could also be read for free for many of the manga on the app.
As of February 6th, 2015, Line has just hit it’s 10 million manga downloads and have garnered sales of 4.9 billion yen or $41,186,852 US. The most popular genres are romantic comedies at 33%, action, 12% and Horror-mystery at 9% of popularity. In addition to commemorate the record breaking 10 million manga downloads, a list of manga such as “Saint Young Men”, “Space Brothers” and “Chihayafuru” to name a few, has become free in the app store!
Many people in the manga and e-comics industry are going to be surprised that Line has quietly become a juggernaut. The company rarely gets mentioned when the subject of digital distribution comes up, with most of the industries attention focused on Amazon and Kobo.