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Kodansha Was Japan's Top Publisher in 2014 for 2nd Consecutive Year

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Kadokawa jumps to #2 with 109.7% increase in sales after consolidation

Oricon revealed as a part of its "Annual Market Report" for book sales on January 22 that Kodansha was again Japan's top publisher in 2014, keeping the top spot from 2013. The company's sales increased 1.9% from 2013, with total sales of 101.83 billion yen (about US$859 million). Oricon reported that Kodansha has a 9.9% share of the total book market in Japan.

The three main segments of Japan's book market are regular books, trade paperback (bunko), and compiled manga book volumes. Kodansha did not top any of the three categories.

Kadokawa ranked at #2 overall after ranking at #4 in 2013. The company topped sales in both the regular books and trade paperback categories.

Last year marked the first full year since Kadokawa Group Holdings absorbed and consolidated nine of its subsidiaries into one company, simply called Kadokawa. Kadokawa's sales more than doubled in 2013, increasing 109.7% to 94.36 billion yen (about US$796.75 million).

The rest of the top 10 publishers are as follows:

#3: Shueisha (ranked at #2 in 2013)
#4: Shogakukan (ranked at #3 last year)
#5: Gakken Publishing (ranked at #5 last year)
#6: Takarajimasha (ranked at #6 last year)
#7: Shinchosha (ranked at #8 last year)
#8: Square Enix (first time on rankings)
#9: Shobunsha Publications, Inc. (ranked at #10 last year)
#10: Bungeishunju (ranked at #7 last year)

Oricon's report covered book sales in Japan from December 30, 2013 to December 28, 2014.

Kadokawa Group Holdings absorbed and consolidated nine of its subsidiaries in October 2013: Kadokawa Shoten, ASCII Media Works, Kadokawa Magazines, Media Factory, Enterbrain, Chukei Publishing, Fujimi Shobo, Kadokawa Gakugei Shuppan, and Kadokawa Production. The company said at the time that the new structure would improve profitability, strengthen the Kadokawa brand, and develop new business opportunities. Kadokawa Group Holdings already merged ASCII and MediaWorks to form ASCII Media Works in 2007.

Kodansha reported 120.272 billion yen (about US$1.173-billion at the time) in revenue from the 2013 fiscal year, a 2.0% increase from the previous fiscal year. 2013 marked Kodansha's first revenue increase in 18 years and its first increase in both revenue and profit in 19 years. The company credited its overall revenue and profit increase to the immense popularity of works such as Naoki Hyakuta's Kaizoku to Yobareta Otoko novel and Hajime Isayama's Attack on Titan manga.

The entire book market in Japan decreased by 1% from 2013 to 1.02813 trillion yen (US$8.69918 billion). The number of books sold totaled 1.177757 billion, or 97.3% of 2013's total.

The market for compiled manga book volumes, however, rose to 281.51 billion yen (about US$2.3792 billion), an increase of 4.0%. Last year was the second year in a row that the compiled manga book volume market grew, and last year marked the highest annual total since Oricon began posting its book ranking charts in 2008.

Source: Oricon

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