TOKYO – The sale figures of digital manga had surpassed their print editions for the first time in 2017 in Japan, revealing a new trend in the Japanese entertainment sector, according to a report published on Monday.
In 2017, digital manga sold 17.2 percent more with respect to the previous year and reached 171.1 billion yen ($1.6 billion) while those of paper manga fell 14.4 percent to 166.6 billion yen.
According to the report by the Research Institute for Publications, the sale of digital manga picked up owing to the easy availability of discounted older popular titles.
However, the total sales of print and digital editions remained almost unchanged in 2017 with respect to 2016, falling a mere 0.9 percent, a figure that can be attributed to a lack of new blockbuster titles and an increase in piracy, the Tokyo-based research institute said.
The main manga publishers in the Asian country had launched the “Manga-Anime Guardians” initiative in 2016, which seeks to fight piracy via payment links.
There has been a strong spurt in the ebooks sector in Japan in recent years, with manga sales accounting for 80 percent of the sales, according to the All Japan Magazine and Book Publisher’s.
Platforms such as Line Manga, which distributes Japanese comics in Japan and overseas, and the mobile app Manga Box, are only some examples of the success of digital manga in the Asian country.